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5 katoVia 










By N. G. 









The arrangement of this book is very much on the same 
lines as Messrs. Vandervell and Witham's work on figure 
skating, the fact being that the preliminary figures must 
be mastered in a regular rotation, figure must follow upon 
figure as the skater progresses in the art. 

I have to thank Messrs. Vandervell and Witham for the 
assistance they have rendered by allowing me to copy 
certain diagrams from their work. 

With kind permission from Mr. Montagu S. F. Monier- 
Williams, I have reproduced his first set of combined 
figures and alternating calls, from his work, " Combined 
Figure Skating." 

A well-known Fen skater has favoured me with a 
chapter upon " Speed Skating," which I trust may meet with 
the approval it deserves. 

Miss Cheetham has also contributed a very excellent 
chapter for ladies, in which she describes the beauty of 
hand-in-hand skating. 


I fear this volume is too short to explain all that needs 
explanation, and must crave the indulgence of my reader 
for its many shortcomings. I have done my best, in as few 
words as possible, to give all the main points, and trust the 
beginner may profit by my endeavours. 


November, 1889. 




I. Introductory ... ... ... ... .,. i 

II. Dress, Boots, and Skates ... ... ... 3 

III. First Steps and Edges ... ... ... .„ 7 

IV. The Simple Turns ... ... ... ... 23 

V. Serpentine Line, Q's, and Mohawks ... ... 28 

VI. Ldops, Cross-cuts, Counter Cross-cuts, Rocking 

Turns, Counter Rocking Turns, and Bracket 

Turns ... ••• ... •»• •*• 35 

VII. Combined Figures 

VIII. Continuous Figures 

IX. Grape-vines and Two-footed Figures ... ... 65 

X. Ladies' Chapter ... ... ... ... 70 

XI. Skating in Sweden ... ... ... ... $7 

XII. Speed Skating ... ... ... ... 97 

Appendix ... ... ... 131 






Skating, as a fine art, in comparison with other pursuits 
combining skill and activity, is little cultivated in this country. 
Not that there is any deficiency of interest in it ; but oppor- 
tunities of practising, being dependent upon the weather, 
are so uncertain as to debar many people from utilizing 
them. Most skaters, therefore, remain content with the 
moderate amount of skill which will allow them to progress 
forwards on the inside or, at most, on the outside edge. 

Now let me impress upon the reader that the difficulties 
are not always so great as they seem, and that some of them 
may be overcome without waiting for a frost. If he will 
take the trouble to study and practise positions whilst 
merely standing upon an ordinary floor, he will be able to 
acquire a good deal of necessary practical knowledge, and 
will afterwards learn many of the movements in much less 
time than he otherwise would. 

The art of figure-skating, especially in combination with 
other people, is what I have called a fine art, and it has 
several important recommendations. In the first place, it 



requires unlimited perseverance and a large share of pluck 
to become a first-rate performer; secondly, it gives moderate 
exercise to every muscle of the body, and, at the same time, 
places every movement under the most accurate control ; 
and, lastly, it is an exercise which can be carried on to an 
advanced period of life. I have seen men of over sixty 
years of age skating combined figures with the greatest 

During the last ten years figure-skating has undoubtedly 
made great progress ; figures that were formerly considered 
impossible, are now skated with ease. Clubs have been 
started in many of our provincial towns, and have given a 
great stimulus to the study of combined figures. But the 
greatest help' to figure-skaters has been the Glaciarium at 
Southport — a real ice rink, frozen by artificial means. For 
some years it was open every day, winter and summer, 
giving many skaters the opportunity of learning and perfect- 
ing the most difficult figures. I am sorry to say that, from 
want of sufficient patronage, it has been closed ; but I hope 
to see it reopened, or another made elsewhere. 

The enthusiastic skater can, with but little expense and 
not much trouble, get beautiful skating in Holland ; and I 
should be glad to see parties of good skaters formed every 
winter in order to go there for practice. Surely some of 
the clubs now in existence might combine to visit some 
given place together. In that case, matches between club 
and club could be arranged, and the immense advantage 
which competition always confers, thereby insured. If we 
in England cannot make certain of frost, let us go to 
Holland and enjoy our sport there. 

( 3 ) 



The dress of a skater does not matter much, as long as it 
fits and is neat. The members of the Skating Club always 
wear trousers, black coats, and tall hats, in accordance with 
an old custom ; but I think a tweed suit and low hat or cap 
would be more in keeping. Tight knee-breeches and stock- 
ings would look better than trousers, but this is not the 
fashion, so we must not expect to see it ; but, at the same 
time, I do not see why, as cricketers and lawn-tennis players 
wear a special dress, skaters should not adopt one also. 

The question of the boots and skates is of far more im- 
portance, and must be carefully studied. A race-horse 
badly shod cannot win, nor can skating be done with grace 
and ease if the boots are not easy and the skates firm. 

The boots should be of stout leather, not too thick or too 
thin in the sole, but a happy medium, and should lace up 
fairly tight on the ankle ; the heel should be made quite 
straight at the back, and not too high. The skater often 
finds the insteps ache after skating for a while, but this can 
be avoided by placing a small soft pad between the tongue 
of the boot and the stocking, over which the boot may be 
laced tightly. 

The footstock, and the mode of fastening the blade to the 
boot, are most important matters. First of all, the skates 
should be attached to the boot firmly — so firmly as to be- 
come, so to ^speak, part of the boot. There are a hundred 


ways of fixing skates upon boots, but only one, in my 
opinion, which is wholly successful, and that is to screw the 
skates with ordinary screws to the sole and heel of the boot 

When once properly fixed, they ought never to be removed 
from the boots, which should be kept for skating and 
nothing else. This entails changing your boots on the ice, 
but it is well worth the trouble, as you may then be sure 
your skates are firm. The skater may say he cannot change 
his boots, as he has nowhere to leave them \ and, in that 
case, he must have a pair of skates that can be adjusted to 
the boots he is wearing, taking care that these are such as 
I have already described. 

The best footstock, to my mind, is that of the New York 
Club skate. It has a lever movement sideways, and is very 
firm, and can be removed or put on in a few seconds. 

The Barney and Berry footstock I do not consider good, 
as it depends on the inside length of the heel of the boot 
whether the skate is forward or backward on the foot. It 
also requires a key, which is apt to be mislaid or lost. 

The Acme, also, is open to objection on the ground that 
there must be a certain amount of spring between the blade 
and the foot, which is bad. It also requires a key to 
adjust the nuts, which so often get loose. The New York 
Club skate requires no key, as it is worked in a very ingeni- 
ous way by a thumb-screw. 

The ordinary old screw skate, I maintain, is bad, as there 
must be a certain working on the screw, and the straps 
also compress the foot. 

Whether the blade is fixed into a wooden or metal foot- 
stock makes no difference as long as the skate and boot 
become one. 

I recommend metal fastenings which clamp the heel and 
sole, in any way as long as they are firm ; but the " Mount 


Charles " footstock, which is simply a metal sole and heel- 
plate screwed on to the boot with ordinary screws, is unques- 
tionably the best and firmest. 

The blades are, however, the most important part of the 
skate, and there is a great difference of opinion amongst 
good skaters as to the best blades, as there is amongst 
sportsmen as to the best sort of gun. A good skater gets 
accustomed to skate upon a certain blade, and if he 
changes to another he is not at home upon it, and so con- 
demns it. 

The curve and radius of the blade is a matter of dispute, 
but a seven-foot radius is the one generally used here in 
England as it adapts itself to the simpler figures most 
readily; but for loops, cross-cuts, etc., a five-foot radius 
can be used with advantage. I think a good skater who 
has mastered most of the movements is wise to strike a 
happy medium and have the blades ground to a six-foot 
radius ; but not so with the beginner, who will find a seven- 
foot radius easier for holding the edges, and quite enough 
curved to make all turns with ease. 

Again, the acute-angle, right-angle, and obtuse-angle 
blades — the latter invented by Mr. Monier Williams, and 
called by his name — all have their advantages, depending 
upon the hardness of the ice. If the ice is hard the acute- 
angle blades are best, as they hold the edge firmer ; but if 
the ice is soft they cut too deep, and cause too much friction, 
and an obtuse angle is then the best. 

But if the skater is skating with obtuse-angle blades on 
very hard ice, he will find he cannot hold the edge, as there 
is no grip, and he will be constantly slipping. In England 
ice is not very hard, therefore I advise striking the happy 
medium, and skating upon a right-angle blade. 

There is a blade called the Dowler, invented by Mr. 


Dowler of the Skating Club, the speciality of which is 
that it is thinner in the middle than at the toe and heel, 
as shown here (Fig. i) in an exaggerated form — 

Fig. i. 

I strongly recommend it to the beginner ; for, up to the 
point when he becomes a first-rate skater, he will find it 
the steadiest and easiest to travel upon. For years I have 
used it, and still often use it, especially if I am skating the 
combined figures, as I find it easier to hold the edges 
with it than with any other. 

With this blade it may be noticed that when resting on 
the flat you are standing upon only a small portion of the 
blade, but as you lean over on an edge, the extent of the 
blade in contact with the ice increases, and gives us less 
friction and greater bearing power than in a straight blade, 
and the more you are upon the edge of the blade, up 
to a certain point, the easier you will travel on a curve. 
In turning upon the heel and toe this blade does not cause 
any inconvenience; but in loop and grape-vines you are 
handicapped, but these are not so important to the 

Therefore, in conclusion, let me strongly recommend the 
beginner to skate upon right-angle Dowler blades, ground 
to a seven-foot radius, and fixed to a "Mount Charles" foot- 
stock, and when he becomes an adept skater to adopt any 
blade that suits him best. 

These skates are supplied by Hill, in the Haymarket ; 
and Thornhill, in Bond Street. 

( 7 ) 



The beginner who for the first time mounts a pair of skates 
often finds his ankles weak and inclined to give way under 

I would advise him to fasten his skates firmly, and walk 
about in the room until he finds that he can stand and walk 
upon the irons with ease ; then, when he uses them upon the 
ice, he will find himself much more at home than he other- 
wise would have been. 

His first steps should be those of ordinary walking, and, 
if his ankles do not give way, he will quickly find that he 
can progress fairly fast. 

One of the principal ends to be aimed at in skating is 
"form." Artistic skating is the movement of the body in 
graceful, elegant, and easy motion, upon skates, over a surface 
of ice, and this cannot be attained without very consider- 
able attention at the commencement to the first principles 
of the art. It is the same in most sports, and many a good 
man has gone wrong by commencing in a bad style. 

Skill in skating is attained by balance of the body. It is 
essentially a movement of the body ; the legs and feet have 
to follow the body, and not the body the legs and feet. 
It is the same in waltzing, the steps or feet simply accom- 
modate themselves to the movement of the body. 

I presume that the beginner can now walk upon the ice 
on skates with fair confidence, and desires to strike out 
and go faster. To accomplish this he will need to lean 
upon the edge of his skate instead of on the flat, as he has 
been doing. Let him bear in mind that there are two 


edges, the inside and the outside edge, which can be 
used both forwards and backwards. 

Messrs. Vandervell and Witham used certain letters as 
names for the edges, and, as they have become recognized 
in the skating world, I cannot do better than adopt them. 
They are as follows: — 

A, inside edge forwards. 

B, inside edge backwards. 

C, outside edge forwards. 

D, outside edge backwards. 

In all movements the skater must be upon one or other 
of these edges, so let the beginner commence by mastering 
them, in good form with body erect and legs well together, 
before attempting anything further. 

In the following explanations the term " employed " is 
used to denote the leg or foot on which the skater is 
travelling, while the " unemployed " foot is the one which 
is off the ice. 

The Inside Edge forwards, or Edge A. 

The inside edge, being the easiest, though by no means 
simple to do in good form — will be dealt with first. 

Let the body be stiff and erect, the head well up, and 
not looking down at the feet. The skater should feel the 
back of his linen collar against his neck, he may then be 
sure he is not looking at his feet. At starting, the body 
should lean slightly forward from the ankles. The employed 
knee should be bent to take the stroke, but stiffened as 
soon as the edge touches the ice. The skater should look 
in the direction in which he is going, and his shoulders 
should take the same line as the employed foot, as much 
as possible ; by which I mean that if on the right foot the 


right shoulder should be forward, and the left well back — a 
position that is called half-front. 



f/-'\ T «F UNEMPL 











Fig 2. — The inside edge forwards, or edge A. (From the diagram in Messrs. 
Vandervell and Witham's " System of Figure Skating.") 

Presuming that the employed is the right foot, the right 
arm should be bent slightly at the elbow, the left arm 



allowed to hang easily at the side, but both elbows should 
be kept close to the body, and on no account allowed to 
swing about. In learning this edge I have found it an 
advantage to turn the palm of the hand outwards over 
the unemployed leg, as this throws the shoulder back into 

The positions of the feet are most important, and the 
best way to explain them is by diagram (Fig. 2). 

The beginner is about to make a stroke on the right 
foot Let him place his feet close together as in the 
diagram, and both slightly on the inside edge of skates ; 
lean the body forward and with the weight on the right 
foot, push against the edge of the left, and he will find 
himself travelling on an inside edge of the right. As soon 
as the left has done its duty in pushing off, it should be 
brought into position behind the right, as in the diagram ; 
the shoulder should be well thrown back, and the palm of 
the left hand turned out held over the unemployed at the 
same moment, so as to be in position of half-front. 

To commence the next stroke on the left, the left shoulder 
should be brought forward with a gentle swing, and not with a 

jerk or hurried move- 
ment, followed by the 
left foot until both 
feet are together ; the 
weight of the body 
will then have to swing 
over upon the left leg, 
the body being held 
stiff but bent slightly 
forward, with the left 
knee bent ; and a push-off must be given by the right, the 
left knee being stiffened as soon as well upon the edge, and 

Fig. 3. — Figure 8 on inside edge forwards, or 
edge A. 


a position of half-front to the right taken. By practising 
this until he can describe large circles on each foot, the 
learner will conquer the inside edge forwards, or edge A, 
and will thereby be able to skate the first of the many 
figure 8'sj which consists of a complete circle upon each 
foot (Fig. 3). 

The Outside Edge forwards, or Edge C. 

The next matter to be learned is edge C, or outside edge 
forwards, one of the most delightful movements, and the 
great ambition of a beginner. 

The skater should now lean over to the outside edge of 
his skate, instead of the inside, and describe a circle or 
part of a circle outwards instead of inwards. The positions 
of the feet are much, the same as in skating the inside 
edge, with the exception that the employed foot should start 
straight from an outside edge, while the push-off is taken 
as before from the inside of the unemployed. 

The beginner will find that he will require a considerable 
amount of pluck, and I fear will have several falls before 
he masters this movement. 

The following diagram (Fig. 4) gives the positions of the 

Stand with body erect, but leaning well forward with the 
whole weight on the employed leg with the knee bent, then 
push off with the unemployed leg, and, as soon as the push- 
off is made, stiffen the knee of the employed leg, and bring 
the unemployed behind it, as shown in the diagram. The 
shoulder must be well thrown back, and the palm of the 
hand held turned out over the unemployed ; the elbows kept 
to the side of the body, and the toe of the unemployed kept 
close to the heel of the employed. And thus the skater 



will travel until he comes to a, when the shoulder over un- 
employed is allowed to swing gently forward, and the balance 














Fig. 4. — Outside edge forwards, or edge C. (From Messrs. Vandervell and 
Witham's " System of Figure Skating, ') 

of the body becomes nearly upright, having previously been 


leaning forward ; the swing is continued, when he will find 
that he has swung over to an inside edge, and, as soon as 
this occurs, the unemployed is brought forward and put 
down slightly in front of the employed, the whole weight 
of the body being then thrown on to the unemployed, which 
becomes at that moment the employed, and the push-off 
from the inside edge of the other foot is made, and the 
same thing again occurs. 

Be very careful about the swing of the body at a, before 
bringing the unemployed forward ; do not do it with a jerk, 
but with a gentle, graceful, and easy swing. 

The head should be held well over the employed leg 
at starting ; but when the skater arrives at a, it should be 
thrown gently over to meet the opposite shoulder, which 
will then be coming forward to take the next stroke ; and 
when the push-off is made it should be well over the 
shoulder of the then employed. 

A nervous skater, who does not like to trust himself on 
the edge, may gain confidence and learn to hold the edge 
in this manner. Say he desires to make a circle on the right 
outside edge, he must put both feet on the ice — the right on 
the outside edge, and the left on the inside edge, — then push 
away with the left, keeping the right on the outside edge 
and from time to time lift the left and let himself travel on 
the right as long as he can hold the edge, then put down 
the left, and push off again from the inside edge. He will 
in this way describe circle after circle on the right, which 
will be skated on an outside edge. He must practise this 
first on one foot and then on the other ; but he must not 
indulge too much in this mode of practise, as the body will 
be full front instead of half front, and therefore not in a 
right position as regards form. 

Let it be noted that should the skater find he is stronger 



on one leg than the other, he should practice more on the 
weaker leg than on the stronger, so that in time he may 
equalize the strength of both. 

Cross-roll forwards. 

Another method of skating the outside edge, or edge C, 
is on the cross-roll, which consists in crossing the feet 

alternately in 






front before 
putting them 
on the ice. 
In doing this 
the learner 
should not 
use the inside 
edge to push 
off from, but 
bring the un- 
employed for- 
w a r d and 
allow it to 
cross over in 
front of the 
The swing of 
the body is 
exactly the 
same as in the 
first method, 
and precedes 

the swing of the leg. As soon as the unemployed is well 
over the employed, place it on the ice, straight on to the 
outside edge, with the weight of the body upon it. At 


Fig. 5- 

Cross roll forwards. 


the same moment push off with the other foot, which is still 
on the outside edge ; but as soon as it has pushed off let it 
be brought into position, viz. with the toe to the other heel, 
for it now becomes the unemployed : keep it there until 
you wish to take the next stroke, when it should be brought 
forward as before, but care is needed that the shoulder over 
the unemployed be allowed to swing before the leg. The 
head is swung over to meet this shoulder as in the first 
method, and the body should be half front. 

This is by far the most graceful way of skating the out- 
side edge, and when mastered is a very delightful motion, 
done in half-circles on alternate feet. 

In drawing the diagram of this cross-roll (Fig. 5), I have 
not quite followed Messrs. Vandervell and Witham, as I 
think the skater will 
find that in turning the 
toe in, at starting the 
stroke, the curves come 
more curly and more 
graceful. In fact, I 
find turning the toe in 
is a great help in every 

Fig. 6. — Figure 8 on outside edge cross-roll. 


By completing the circle on each foot another 8 is per- 
formed (Fig. 6). 

Turning on Two Feet. 

Before the beginner can learn the inside or outside edge 
backwards, he should learn to turn on two feet, and proceed 
backwards. This is a simple and easy matter, and should 
give the skater but little trouble to learn, if he has already 
mastered the inside and outside edge forward. 


Let him take a few strokes forward, put both feet on 
the ice, and allow himself to run on the flat of the irons, 
the body being full front; let his balance be on the for- 
ward part of the skates ; then, slightly raising the heels, 
so as to avoid scraping the ice, let him make a turn either 
to the right or left, when he will find himself proceeding 
backwards on the flat of his blades. When he has mastered 
this turn both to the right and left without any scraping, 
and can proceed backwards on both feet upon the flat of 
the blades, he may learn to use what is called the serpentine 
line on two feet. 

Serpentine Line on Two Feet. 

After proceeding some distance backwards on the flat of 
the blades, let the skater turn his ankles in, and, throwing 
the weight of the body upon the right foot, push with the 
left ; then throwing the weight of the body upon the left 
foot, push with the right. In this way he will find he can 
travel, gaining impetus as he proceeds, in a serpentine 
line. When the skater can gain pace in this way he can 
make this mode of travelling very graceful and pleasing 
to the x spectators, by letting one foot follow the other on 
the ice. 

As soon as he has pushed off with the left, the weight of 
the body being upon the right, let the left follow the right 
in the same line, the heel being slightly raised, but the toe 
still upon the ice ; when the impetus is nearly exhausted he 
should bring the feet together, and, at the same time letting 
the weight of the body swing over to the left, push off with 
the right and let the right follow the left, and so on. Starting 
with the right he will find himself really travelling upon an 
inside edge backwards, with the left foot simply following 



on an outside edge, but the weight of the body is upon the 
inside edge of the right ; and so he will find this way of 
travelling a great help v Xn>R 

when he comes to learn 
the inside edge back- 
wards. • : 

The diagram will show 
the position of the feet in 
this movement (Fig. 7). 

The same can also 
be done forward, but is 
much more difficult and 
not so graceful. 

Inside Edge back- 
wards, or Edge B. 

To hold this edge in 
good form with the un- 
employed in the right 
position is very diffi- 
cult, and will need great 

Commence with a 
sharp run forward, then 
turn on the two feet, 
and as soon as you have turned let the ankles lean inwards, 
so that the skates may be upon the inside edge on both 
feet ; hold the edge of the right, the weight of the body 
being upon the right leg, and push off with the left, 
lifting it as soon as the push is given, and travel upon the 
right inside edge as long as you can. When the impetus 
is gone put the left foot down close to the right on an 


Fig. 7.— Serpentine line on two feet. 



inside edge, then push off with the right, and travel on the 
inside edge of the left : practise this with the body full front, 
until you can hold the edge fairly well. 









•going INTOACTlON 




Fig. 8.— Inside edge backwards, or edge B. (From Messrs. Vandervell 
and Witham's " System of Figure Skating.") 

I have said nothing so far as to the proper position of the 


body, because I wish the skater first to obtain a good pace 
with short strokes. When he can do this, and hold the edge 
for a considerable distance, let him follow the diagram (Fig. 
8) as to the position of the feet. 

The heel of the unemployed, as soon as the push-off is 
given, should be placed close to the heel of the employed, the 
toe of the unemployed well turned out, and shoulder, and 
palm of the hand over the unemployed, well thrown back, the 
head looking in the direction in which you are travelling. In 
this position the skater will find he is able to hold the edge 
in large curves, which in any other position he cannot do, 
as the tendency is to come round in small circles. It is 
also more graceful, and the skater can see where he is going. 
Presuming he is on his right, in taking the next stroke on 
the left the left shoulder and head should swing forward, 
and the left foot be turned round as in the diagram, and 
then placed on the ice, and a push-off given with the right. 
The right foot immediately after the push-off must come 
into position, with the shoulder and the palm of the hand 
well thrown back, as before, over the unemployed. 

The beginner will have to practise very considerably 
before he can master 
this position with ease 
and grace ; but it is 
worth learning, and is 
most essential in com- 
bined figures. In my 
own case it has always 
been the most difficult 

position tO master. Fig ^-Figure Son inside edge backwards, 

Turning the toe of the 

unemployed well out, and the palm of the hand over the 

unemployed well back, is a great advantage in keeping the 


shoulder back, and so gaining the position required. The 
figure 8 can be skated on this edge by completing the whole 
circle on alternate feet, and is very good practice (Fig. 9). 

Outside Edge backwards, or Edge D. 

Let the skater take a sharp run forward, and then turn 
on two feet and proceed backward. To commence with 
the right foot let him lean over to the outside edge of the 
right and inside edge of left. The right foot remains on the 
ice, and the push-off is given with the inside edge of the left, 
and he will be travelling upon an outside edge backwards 
until he comes to a in the diagram (Fig. 10). The body 
then swings gently over to the inside edge ; but as soon 
as he is on this edge let him put down the left, and, push- 
ing off with the right proceed on the left. He should 
practise this in short strokes until he has attained a good 
speed, then consult the diagram as to the position of the feet 
(Fig. 10). 

Presuming the skater commences with the right foot, as 
soon as he has pushed off with the left, which is on an inside 
edge, the left — then the unemployed — should be brought close 
to the right, heel to heel ; the head, shoulder, and palm of 
the hand over the unemployed should be well thrown back. 
When he comes to a in the diagram the head and shoulder 
over the unemployed should swing gently forward ; the right 
will now be upon the inside edge, and the left must be put 
down on an outside edge, and the push-off given with the 
inside edge of the right, which then becomes the unem- 
ployed, and is thrown back into position with the shoulder 
and head. 




/* ,»to «r, 0N I ^ ^| the ewlove „ R-P . 



d L.F. W^*^* i 


The push off 




\ \ ~ J \ THE EMPLOYED R. K 


Fig. 10. — Outside edge backwards, or edge D. (From Vandervell and 
Witham's " System of Figure Skating.") 

Cross-roll backwards. 

Another method of skating the outside edge backwards is 
upon the cross-roll (Fig. n). Commence, say, on the right 






and continue on an outside edge until you wish to change feet; 

then, instead of changing on to an inside edge on the right, 

let the left foot 
cross well over 
behind the 
right and take 
up the outside 
edge on the 
left, pushing off 
from the out- 
side edge of the 
right, which be- 
comes at that 
moment the 
and should go 
into position 
together with 
head, shoulder, 
and hand. Pro- 
ceed then on 
the left, on an 
outside edge, 
and so on. I 
may say when 
the push-off is 
given, the other 
foot, instead of 
being placed 
on the ice, is 
dropped on to 
an outside edge 

Fig. n.-Cross-roll backwards. backwards. 





It is very useful in learning this figure to try to raise the 
toes, and skate upon the heel or back portion of the blade. 

A great advantage 
is gained by turning 
the unemployed toe 
well out just before 
taking the stroke. 
When he has mastered 
this with grace, and in 
good form, the skater 
will have learnt a most 

Fig. 12. — Figure 8 on cross-roll backwards. 

delightful movement. 

The figure 8 can be skated on this edge by completing 
a whole circle on alternate feet (Fig. 12). 



The next step for the skater is to learn the figure 3 in its 
various forms. These 3's skaters now simply call turns, 
as they involve an alteration in the direction of going, 
viz. from forwards to backwards, or from backwards to 
forwards, and also an alteration of edges. Messrs. Yan- 
dervell and Witham call these turns A, B, C, and D, being 
four in number, and being taken respectively from the 
edges A, B, C, D. 

Turn A is from the inside forwards. 
Turn B is from the inside backwards. 
Turn C is from the outside forwards. 
Turn D is from the outside backwards, 

The English figure-skater, who, as a rule, uses a blade of 



seven-foot radius, makes these turns upon the toe or heel 
of the skate ; but upon blades of five-foot radius or less 
they can be more gracefully turned upon the centre of the 
blade, and many of the Swedish and American skaters do 

Turn C is the easiest, so we would recommend the 
skater to learn this first. 

Turn C, from outside forwards to inside backwards. Put 
yourself upon an outside edge on the right in good form 
with the shoulder over the unemployed well back; before 
turning, bring this shoulder forward, raise yourself slightly 
upon the toe, and turn the body to the right ; then immedi- 
ately bring the left shoulder back into the position of inside 
back. The unemployed foot always remains behind, but you 
will find it is most difficult to retain this edge after the turn, 
the tendency being to come round in small circles. If you 
have not conquered the position of the body for the inside 
edge backwards, it is impossible to hold it. The unemployed 
leg is never allowed to come in front of the employed ; and at 
the moment of turning, the shoulder over the unemployed 

should be brought forward, 
but the unemployed never. 
In fact, the movement is 
entirely done by the swing 
of the shoulder. Turning 
the palm of the hand out 
is a great assistance in 
keeping the shoulder back 
in its proper position ; 
also you should keep the toe of the unemployed well 
turned out, as you will thus be able to take the next stroke 
on the other foot with greater ease. The head should also 
be thrown well back over the unemployed at the moment 

-Turn C, on right and left foot, 
to a centre. 


of turning. Practise these until you can skate them alter- 
nately on each foot to a point or centre (Fig. 13). 

Turn A, from inside forwards to outside backwards. This 
turn, being the next in difficulty, should follow turn C. To 
execute it, put yourself upon an inside edge forward on the 
right foot, with the unemployed foot well thrown back. 
Rise slightly on the toe, p j 

and turn the body to the 
left, taking up an outside 
backwards. In this turn 
the difficulty will be in 
holding the edge after 
turning, and the only 
way to do this is to pay fl.O-.fc- I. Ob. 

Strict attention tO form ; Fig. 14.— Turn A, on right and left foot, to 

while you are upon the 

edge, immediately the turn is taken, the position should be 
that of outside back, with the unemployed kept back and 
never brought forward. The shoulder over the unemployed 
leg is the main point in all these turns : it should come 
forward slightly at turning, but be brought back as soon as 
the turn is made. Practise this until you can skate the 
turns to a centre with ease on alternate feet (Fig. 14). 

Turn B^from inside backwards to outside forwards. This 
turn is upon the heel, and the beginner will require a little 
pluck, and must not be afraid of getting well upon the heel. 
It is one of the most difficult turns, and occasioned me 
many a fall while learning it. The fall is occasioned by not 
trusting yourself well upon the heel ; if the toe is not raised 
when turning, it will scrape the ice, and a fall is certain. 
Place yourself on an inside edge backwards upon the right 
foot, with shoulders, head, and leg well back over the un- 
employed. At the point of turning allow the left shoulder 



to come forward, raise the toe and turn on the heel to the 
right, and then bring back the left shoulder into the position 
of outside forwards. When the skater has mastered this 

turn with ease and in 
good form, he will have 
mastered one of the 
most difficult move- 
ments in the art. It 
can be done to a centre, 
but is very difficult (Fig. 


Turn D^from outside 

backwards to inside for. 

This is also a heel turn, but is not so difficult 

B ; a considerable amount of practice, however, 

will be required before 

Fig. 15.- 

as turn 

-Turn B, on right and left foot, to 
a centre. 

VUP. & 

q. 8 

Fig. 16.— Turn D, on right and left foot, to 
a centre. 

the skater will be able 
to do it with ease. 

The difficulty in this 
turn is to keep the 
unemployed back in 
position, so as to re- 
tain the inside edge 
forward ; the unem- 
ployed will swing for- 
ward, but it should not be allowed to do so. The only 
part of the body that is allowed to come forward is the 
head, which is swung forward at the moment of turning, 
as soon as you have raised the toe. This can also be done 
to a centre, but is very difficult (Fig. 16). 

I may state that the head in all these turns swings over 
at the moment of turning, so as to be looking in the 
direction in which you are going ; the unemployed should 


not be allowed ever to swing, but must be kept always in 
its proper position, according to the edge the skater is 

The principal thing is the position of the shoulder over 
the unemployed leg, as the turn is made by bringing this 
forward and backward. Turning the palm of the hand out 
over the unemployed is always an assistance to keep the 
shoulder back in position. The body should always be half 
front when upon the edges. 

These four simple turns, A, B, C, and 13, can be con- 
nected one with the other, viz., C with B, and D with A; 
and these combinations bring us to another series of figures, 
and are called half-doubles, or two turns, A, B, C, and D. 

Two turns A. Start upon the inside edge forwards, and 
make turn A, which brings you on to an outside edge back- 
wards ; then make turn D, which brings you back upon the 
inside forwards. 

Two turns B is from the inside edge backwards to the 
outside forwards, then back to the inside backwards (turns 
B and C). 

Two turns C is from the outside edge forwards to the 
inside backwards, then back to the outside forwards (turns 
C and B). 

Two turns D is from the outside edge backwards to the 
inside forwards, and then back to the outside backwards 
(turns D and A). 

Practise them to a centre on alternate feet. 

Two turns C, and two turns D, can be skated nicely on 
the cross-roll. Be careful in both of these rolls to dwell 
upon each edge, for a considerable distance, with the unem- 
ployed brought into position after each turn. Do not do 
them with a spin, as is often done, and also mind that the 
turns are made clean without any scraping. 


Two turns A and B can be skated on the inside roll, but 
this is not often done. 

We now come to three turns A, B, C, and D, a series of 
figures sometimes called double threes. In these you make 
three .turns; for instance, three turns A consists of inside 
forward to outside back, outside back to inside forward, 
and inside forward to outside back. 

Four turns can be skated on the cross-roll from C and 
D, as they bring you on to the same edge you started 

I have seen a good skater make as many as twenty-four 
turns or more on one foot ; but the beginner should become 
more generally proficient before he attempts anything of 
this sort. 



The serpentine line is a change of edge without a turn. It 
is a most useful movement, and opens out much for the 
skater to attempt as soon as he has mastered it. It is 
the motive power for all continuous figures, and is an essen- 
tial part of the figure Q's. I recommend the beginner to 
practise this until he has mastered it with grace and ease. 

These serpentine lines can be classed as before under the 
headings A, B, C, and D. 

Serpentine line A is a change from the inside edge 

forwards to the outside forwards. 
Serpentine B, from the inside back to the outside back. 
Serpentine C, from the outside forwards to the inside 

Serpentine D, from the outside back to the inside 




Serpentine line A (Fig. 17). Let the skater make a sharp 
run forward, take up edge A (inside forwards) at a good speed, 
and travel upon it for some distance. To change to an out- 
side forwards, the'unemployed leg must then be allowed to 
swing gently forward, and the shoulder over the unemployed 
to come forward; at the 
same time, the balance of 
the body must swing over 
until the skater is upon 
an outside edge ; the 
shoulder over the unem- 
ployed together with the 
unemployed must then be 
brought back into the 
position for the outside 
forwards. The bringing 
of the shoulder and un- 
employed leg forward and backwards with a gentle swing 
gives motive power. Do this on each foot alternately. 

Serpentines B, C, and D, are done in the same way, 
commencing from edges B, C, and D. 

Serpentines A and C can be united, for when you are 
skating A the change brings you upon an outside forwards, 
i.e. C, when you can change back to A. Serpentine B and 
D also interchange. 

Fig. 17. — Serpentine lines A and B. 

The Figure Q's. 

This is a very interesting series of figures, which are a 
combination of the serpentine line and the turns. The 
name Q derives its origin from the fact that the combi- 
nation of a serpentine line and a turn can be skated so 
as to make a figure somewhat similar to the letter Q 



Fig. 18.— TheQ. 

(Fig. 1 8). In practice, however, they are seldom skated in 
this form, the curves on the edge being made 
of equal length or nearly so, just) as the 
skater thinks fit to do them. 

The Q figure has eight variations, which 
we call— Q A, Q B, Q C, Q D ; reverse Q 
A, reverse Q B, reverse Q C, reverse Q D. 

It is of great importance to understand the 
force of this term " reverse," which always 
means that the turn precedes the serpentine 
line, while the figure Q means that the ser- 
pentine line precedes the turn. Should you 
skate a Q in combined figures when a reverse Q is called, 
it will put you wrong, so it is well to bear in mind the 
difference between them (Figs. 19 and 20). 

Q A, Take a curve of inside forwards, then change over 

to outside forwards by means 
of a serpentine line, and, when 
you have continued this out- 
side edge for some distance, 
turn to inside back (by turn 

Q JB. Commence with a 
curve of inside back, change 
to outside back, and then turn 
to inside forwards (by turn D). 
Q C. Commence on an 
outside forwards, change to 
inside forwards, and then turn 
to outside back (by turn A). 

Q jD. Commence on out- 
side back, change to inside 
back, and then turn to outside forwards (by turn B). 


Fig. 19.— The Q as 
generally skated. 


Fig. 20. — The 
reverse Q. 


Reverse Q A. Commence with an inside forwards, turn 
(by turn A) to outside back, and then change with a 
serpentine line to inside back. 

Reverse Q B. Commence with inside back, turn (by 
turn B) to outside forwards, and then change to inside 

Reverse Q C. Commence with, outside forwards, turn (by 
turn C) to inside back, and then change over to outside 

Reverse Q D. Commence with outside back, turn (by 
turn D) to inside forwards, and then change over to outside 

There are endless ways of combining these various Q's 
and reverse Q's ; for instance, Q A and Q B can be com- 
bined into what is called double Q A (Fig. 21); and thus 

Fig. 21. — Double Q. 

we have another set of eight Q figures, called the double Q's. 

Double Q A, formed by uniting Q A and Q B. 
Double Q B, formed by uniting Q B and Q A. 
Double Q C, formed by uniting Q C and Q D. 
Double Q D, formed by uniting Q D and Q C. 
Double reverse Q A, formed by uniting reverse Q A 

and reverse Q B. 
Double reverse Q B, formed by uniting reverse Q B 

and reverse Q A. 
Double reverse Q C, formed by uniting reverse Q C 

and reverse Q D. 



Double reverse Q D, formed by uniting reverse Q D 
and reverse Q C. 

We can also combine the reverse Q's with the Q's, and 
in this way form the figure called the spectacles (Fig. 22); 

Fig- 22. — The spectacles. 

and thus we have another set of four figures, called the 
spectacles — 

Reverse Q A and Q B. 

Reverse Q B and Q A. 

Reverse Q C and Q D. 

Reverse Q D and Q C. 

The double shamrock can also be represented by a com- 
bination of three turns, a serpentine line, and three turns 
(Fig. 23). So here, again, we can make another set of 
figures, four in number. 

Fig. 23. — Double shamrock. 

Double shamrock A, uniting three turns A, serpentine, 

and three turns Q B. 
Double shamrock B, uniting three turns B, serpentine, 

and three turns Q A 


Double shamrock C, uniting three turns C, serpentine, 

and three turns Q D. 
Double shamrock D, uniting three turns D, serpentine, 
and three turns Q C. 
It is unnecessary to give any more examples of these 
series of figures, but the skater will see that as soon as he 
has mastered all the turns and serpentine lines he will have 
countless interesting figures to work out, and it will give 
him endless delight to find out the different combinations 
which the skating world classes under the name of Q, 


The figures which are called the Mohawks contain a 
change of feet, and also a change of direction, from forwards 
to backwards, or backwards to forwards, the change of feet 
being made in an unusual manner. 

Forward Outside Mohawk from the outside edge forwards 
to the outside edge backwards. Start on an outside edge 
forwards upon the right foot, and just before the change is 
made bring the unemployed knee forward together with the 
left shoulder ; as soon as they are forward, they must be 
swung back, and the left foot is dropped upon the ice behind 
the right, upon the outside edge backwards (Fig. 24). 

v % •. 

Fig. 24.— Forward outside Mohawk. 

Forward Inside Mohawk from the inside edge forwards 
to the inside backwards. Start on the right inside edge 
forwards ; bring the left shoulder and knee slightly for- 




ward, and then back; with a swing drop the left behind 
the right upon an inside edge backwards, and at the same 
moment lift the right foot and travel upon the left. The 
marks made upon the ice are the same as in Fig. 24, but 
they are done on the inside edges. 

This Mohawk is generally skated by commencing on the 
outside forwards on the right, crossing the left behind, and 
taking up an inside edge forwards upon the left, then imme- 
diately making the Mohawk change, which brings you on 
to an inside edge back on the right (Fig. 25). 


Fig. 25. — Inside Mohawk, commencing on the outside forwards. 

Back Outside Mohawk. The back Mohawks are clumsy 
figures, and are seldom skated. For this one start upon an 
outside back on the right. The left, or unemployed, must 
swing round with the toe turned in, so as to take up an 
outside forwards in front of the right, as shown by the dotted 
line, Fig. 26. 

Fig. 26. — Back outside Mohawk. 

Back Inside Alohawk is the same movement, but on the 
inside edges, and is just as awkward. 

( 35 ) 


loops, cross-cuts, rocking turns, counter rocking 
turns, and bracket turns. 

The Loops. 

The loops, if done neatly and large, are very effective 
figures ; but I do not care much for them, as they require 
too much swing of the unemployed leg. 

There are four ways of cutting these figure-loops, one 
from each edge, both forwards and backwards. 

Loop A, on inside forwards. 

Loop B, on inside backwards. 

Loop C, on outside forwards. 

Loop D, on outside backwards. 
,. The most difficult are loops A and B from the inside 
edge, the other two being fairly easy for a skater who can 
do about half of that which has already been 
described. It is simply a matter of balance 
and swing of the unemployed leg at the right 

'- Loop C, which I will describe first, is made 
thus : The skater places himself upon a curve 
on the outside forwards, the balance being 
upon the forward portion of the blade ; then 
with a swing forward of the unemployed leg, 
together with the shoulder over it, he turns 
round and makes a loop. The edge is not 
changed, nor is the direction, and at the finish 
he is upon an outside edge forward, as at the 
commencement (Fig. 27). Fig ' 27 '" The Ioop * 

In these loops there is more knack in swinging the leg at 


the right moment than anything else, and the beginner will 
soon acquire it by practice. 

This loop can be skated with great effect alternately on 
the cross-roll (Fig. 28). 

Fig. 28. — Loops on the cross-roll. 

Loop D is the same figure, but on an outside edge back- 
wards, the unemployed leg being slightly brought forward 
and then swung back when the skater wishes to turn the 
loop. This can also be skated on the cross-roll backwards, 
and if done neatly and large is very effective. 

Double loops can also be easily made ; also three, four, or 
five, if the skater wishes ; but he should be careful when 
practising always to make them large, and of the same 
size (Fig. 29). 

Loops A and B are on the inside edge forwards and back- 
wards, and are very difficult for the reason that the unem- 
ployed leg is in such a position that it cannot be swung 
round, and the whole impetus must be obtained from the 
shoulder over the unemployed being brought forward. As 
soon, however, as the loop is cut the shoulder should be 
brought back into position. It is also necessary to keep 
the balance of the body as much as possible upon the 
heel or back portion of the blade. Loops combined with 
a serpentine line are effective figures on the cross-roll. 

Cut loop C, serpentine over, and cut loop A and serpen- 
tine over again, and cut loop C (Fig. 30). 

Fig. 29. — Double loops on the crccs-rofJ. 

Fig. 30. — Loop C, A, and C, en the cross-roll. 

Fig. 31. — Loop, turn, and loop, on the cross-roll. 


Loop, Turn, and Loop gives an interesting combination on 
a roll, for it alternates on the outside forward and inside 
back-roll (Fig. 31). This can be commenced on edges, A, 
B, C, or D. 

Turn, Loop, and Turn is another combination that is 
effective on a cross-roll, which can be skated commencing 
on edges A, B, C, or D. 


While the skater has been learning loops he will have 
found that just when he is about to turn 
the skate slips back, and, on examining 
the figure made upon the ice, he will 
find that he has not cut a true loop, but 
<lg ' 32, something like Fig. 32. 

This movement has only to be encouraged and he will 
find a new figure which is called the cross-cut. 
There are four cross-cuts, called A, B, C, and D. 
Cross-cut C, being the easiest, will first be described. It 
is made thus : Start as if about to cut the loop C ; when the 
unemployed leg is brought forward rise slightly on the 
toe, bringing the unemployed with a swift swing back and 
forwards, and you will find, after some little practice, that 
you will make this figure (Fig. 33) upon the ice — 

A <U> C 

Fig- 33* — The cross-cut. Fig. 34. — Cross-cut (another method). 

The unemployed leg is brought back when the skater 



gets to a in Fig. $$, and forward when he gets to b. When 
he arrives at c, it must come into position of outside edge 
forwards, which edge he will find difficult to hold. It must, 
however, be held for a considerable distance before he can 
say that he can cut cross-cut C. 

Some skaters say a cross-cut must be done as in Fig. 34, 
but in either way the movement is the same. In Sweden 
I noticed it was always cut as Fig. 34, but here I have 
generally noticed that it is skated as Fig. 33. 

Cross-cut D is from the outside back. In this the skater 
rises slightly upon the heel, and as he is on a backward 
movement the swift swing of the unemployed leg is forward 
and back, instead of back and forward. 

Inside cross-cuts are by no means easy, and it is very 
difficult to hold the edge after making them. I find they 
are more easily made as shown in Fig. 34 than as in Fig. 
33 ; the movement of the unem- 
ployed leg is much the same. 

Cross-cut A. In this the un- 
employed leg moves swiftly back 
and forward, while in 

Cross-cut B it moves swiftly for- 
ward and back. These figures 
can be done in several ways, com- 
bined with loops or turns. 

Four of these cross-cuts can be 
made to represent a Maltese cross 

(Fig. 35), but the skater will have to be very sure of them 
before he will be able to skate this neatly. 

Another way of skating four cross-cuts is as in Fig. 36, 
where you make the cross-cuts at the centre. 

Cross-cut, loop, and cross-cut combined make an effective 

Fig» 35« — Maltese cross. 


figure upon the cross-roll, either forwards or backwards 

(Fig- 37)- 

Loop, cross-cut, and loop is another interesting combina- 
tion (Fig. 38). 

Cross-cut, turn, and 
cross-cut is a nice figure 
on alternate feet, as it 
brings in an inside cross- 
cut, and an outside 
cross-cut ; it also* com- 
bines the outside and 
inside roll (Fig. 39). 

Turn, cross-cut, and 
turn is another com- 
bination of cross - cut 
and turns which is very 

We now come to a 

Fig. 36. — Four cross-cuts at a centre. . • ,• c , y 

to * combination of the ser- 

pentine line and cross-cuts on the cross-roll (Fig. 40). 

Two or three cross-cuts can also be skated on a cross-roll. 
I need not describe any further combinations of these 
figures ; the skater will find for himself that there are many 
more which he can work out, such as two turns, cross-cut, 
and two turns ; or cross-cut, two turns, and cross-cut. Also 
Q's, together with the cross-cuts, can be made very effective. 

Some of these combinations are very difficult, but let me 
impress upon the skater that these cross-cuts should always 
be skated large ; they are fine figures when skated large but 
nothing when skated small. 

There is no reason why these should not be brought into 
combined figures, but as yet I have never seen them skated. 
The objection is the swing of the unemployed leg backwards 




Fig. 37. — Cross-cut, 
loop, and cross- 

Fig. 38.— Loop, 
cross-cut, and 

Fig* 39. — Cross-cut, 
turn, and cross- 
cut, on alternate 

Fig. 40. — Serpentine 
line, cross-cut, and 
serpentine line, on 
the cross-roll, 


and forwards, which some people say is not pretty ; but if the 
unemployed leg in doing them is not swung far away from 
the employed it is not an ungraceful movement. 

Forward, and forward cross-cut out, and forward should 
work well. 

Rocking Turns. 

The rocking turn, so called by Messrs. Vandervell and 
Witham, is a change of direction from forward to backward, 
or backward to forward, upon one cutting edge. Previous 
turns described have always necessitated a change of edge, 
but not so this one. It is one of the most difficult turns 
that a skater can attempt, but of late years it has been 
brought into combined figures with great effect. 

This turn can be skated from the two edges, both forward 
and backward. 

Rocking turn A, inside edge forwards, to inside edge 

Rocking turn B, inside edge backwards, to inside edge 

Rocking turn C, outside edge forwards, to outside edge 

Rocking turn D, outside edge backwards, to outside 

ed8;e forwards. 

I will take C first, edge C being the favourite edge with 
skaters upon which to commence new difficulties. After 
travelling some distance upon the right outside forwards with 
fair speed, bring trre left shoulder forward, and turn to the 
right on the toe. It is a great help to the beginner to bring 
forward the left leg slightly; the foot should not be brought 
forward but only the knee, just in front of the right at the 
moment of the turn. Immediately after the turn it must be 



£. O 


brought back again with the shoulder. The great difficulty 
is in holding the edge after the turn, and I have found it a 
help to turn the head and look over the left shoulder just 
before making the turn, instead of just after, as you would 
suppose. When upon the outside back you will find there 
is a great tendency for the unemployed to come forward, but 
you must not let it do so, it must be kept back in its proper 

An upright position with stiff knee is essential in doing 
this figure, and it is easier to do at a fair pace. 

The skater may often pride himself, and think he has 
made a splendid rocking turn, but let him examine the 
marks cut upon the ice, 
and in nine cases out 
of ten he will find that 
he has allowed a small 
portion of an inside 
forwards to come in 
just before the turn, 
and so has not made a 
true turn upon the edge, 

but a kind of distorted Q (Fig. 42), instead of a correct 
rocking turn (Fig. 41). 

Rocking turn D is from outside back to outside forwards. 
This is much easier, but why I cannot tell, than turn C, 
just described • the skater can hold the edge, after turning, 
with greater ease. Start, say, on the right outside back, 
right shoulder forward, and turn on the heel to the left; the 
unemployed knee may come forward, as in turn C, but must 
be brought back as soon as you are upon the forward edge. 
Be careful to examine the marks upon the ice, so that you 
may be sure that you have made the turn correctly, without 
the small portion of inside edge. 

Fig. 41.— Rocking 
turn C. 

Fig. 42. — Incorrect rock- 
ing turn, or distorted Q C. 


Rocking turn A is from the inside forwards to inside back. 
This turn on the right is done by bringing the right shoulder 
forward, and turning on the toe to the left ; the bringing 
the knee forward can be of use here. 

Rocking turn B is from the inside back to inside forwards. 
Starting on the right, you bring the left shoulder forward, 
and turn on the heel to the left. The knee in this can also 
be brought forward to advantage. 

Counter Rocking Turns. 

Counter rocking turns are the same as the rocking turns, 
but the turn is made in the opposite direction ; and it is well 
to learn the difference, for, when skating combined figures, 
if you skate a counter rocking turn at the centre, instead of 
a rocking turn, the consequence is disastrous, as you run 
straight into your partner. There are four 
counter rocking turns, A, B, C, and D. 

C, on the right foot, (Fig. 43), brings the 
right shoulder forward (instead of the left), and 
turn on the toe to the left (instead of to the 
right) ; the knee can be brought forward and 
back, as in the rocking turns. 
Fig. 43-— Counter j) the most difficult of all, is from the out- 

rocking turn C 7 . . 

side backwards to the outside forwards, on the 
right foot. The turn is made to the right on the heel 
(instead of to the left), and the left shoulder is brought 
forward (instead of the right). The unemployed knee may 
be brought forward and back. 

A, the easiest of all, is done on the right foot, by bringing 
the left shoulder forward (instead of the right), and turning 
to the right (instead of the left). 

B is done by bringing the right shoulder forward (instead 
of the left), and turning to the left (instead of the right). 


The reader is recommended to learn the following table 
of reference of the Rocking and Counter Rocking Turns — 

Rocking Turns. 
Outside forwards to outside backwards : R. foot, turn 

to R., L. shoulder forward; L. foot, turn to L., R. 

shoulder forward. 
Outside backwards to outside forwards : R. foot, turn to 

L., R. shoulder forward; L. foot, turn to R., L. 

shoulder forward. 
Inside forwards to inside backwards : R. foot, turn to L., 

R. shoulder forward ; L. foot, turn to R., L. shoulder 

Inside backwards to inside forwards : R. foot, turn to 

R., L. shoulder forward ; L foot, turn to L., R. 

shoulder forward. 

Counter Rocking Turns. 
Outside forwards to outside backwards : R. foot, turn to 
L., R. shoulder forward; L. foot, turn to R, L. 
shoulder forward. 
Outside backwards to outside forwards : R. foot, turn 
to R., L. shoulder forward ; L. foot, turn to L., R. 
shoulder forward. 
Inside forwards to inside backwards : R. foot, turn to 
R., L. shoulder forward ; L. foot, turn to L., R. 
shoulder forward. 
Inside backwards to inside forwards : R. foot, turn to L., 
R. shoulder forward ; L. foot, turn to R., L. shoulder 
Now these rocking turns can be combined one with the 
other, and with turns, Q's, loops, and cross-cuts. Some of 
these combinations I will describe later on, in my chapter 
on continuous figures. 



Bracket Turns. 

We now arrive at some more very interesting ngures, 
termed the bracket turns. They are so called in conse- 
quence of the marks cut upon the ice, which resemble 
brackets as used in printing. 

These turns contain a change of direction from forward 
to backward, or backward to forward, and also a change 
of edge from inside to outside, or outside to inside, there- 
fore these are four in number, termed A, B, C, and D. 

The turn is made in the contrary direction to the ordinary 
simple three-turn. For instance, in turn A on the right 
foot you turn to the left, while in bracket turn A you turn 
to the right. 

A. Start on an inside edge, on the right foot, and when 
you wish to turn bring the left shoulder forward together 
with the unemployed knee, throw the head over the left 
shoulder, and turn to the right on the toe ; bring back the 
left shoulder and knee directly after the turn, when the 
skater will be upon an outside back (Fig. 44). 

B. Start on an inside edge backwards, on the right foot, 
bring the left shoulder forward, and the knee of the unem- 

Fig. 44. — Bracket turn A. Fig. 45.— Bracket turn B. 

ployed, and turn to the left upon the heel, when you will be 
upon an outside forwards (Fig. 45). 


C. Start on an outside edge forwards, on the right foot, 
bring the left shoulder forward, and the knee of the unem- 
ployed, and turn upon the toe to the left, when you will be 
upon an inside backwards. 

D. Start upon an outside edge backwards on the right, 
bring the left shoulder forward, and the knee of the un- 
employed, and turn to the right, when you will be upon an 
inside forwards. 

On the left foot the turn is made in the opposite direction 
in all four turns. 

Practise all these turns to a centre with alternate feet, 
and when you have mastered them you will find they are 
very effective, and will give you much pleasure in skating 
them. They have of late years been brought into com- 
bined figures with success. 



Combined figure-skating was introduced many years back 
by the London Skating Club; at first only the simple 
movements were attempted, but now most of the difficult 
figures are introduced by the best skaters with great success. 
I know nothing more delightful than skating in combination 
with other good skaters; the interest never flags, and you 
can continue figure after figure with the greatest pleasure 
for half an hour or more without stopping. The skater who 
has once joined in these combined figures will feel that a 
new world is open to him in skating. 

Combined figures, as performed at the Skating Club, can 
be skated by two, four, six, or eight skaters. Each figure 
is commenced and finished at a centre. Usually an orange 



marks this centre as it can be seen easily, and moves with- 
out tripping up the skater should he foul it. Suppose two 
persons are commencing to skate a set of combined figures, 
they stand a few yards from the orange, or centre, facing 
one another ; they pass each other close to the centre, to 
the left if on the right foot, and to the right if on the left 
foot, and the figure always commences as they pass the 
centre. They then circle round this centre in opposite 
directions, skating the figure called. The centre should 
always be between them the whole time; that is, if an 
imaginary line be drawn from one to the other at any 
moment it should cut through the centre, and just before 
finishing the figure at the centre the caller should call the 
next (second) figure. 

If four persons are skating, the second pair should stand 
facing the centre at right angles to the first pair, and as scon 

as the first pair are well past 
the centre they should start,, 
and return as soon as they are 
away again for the second 
figure. If six or eight persons 
are skating they should stand 
at equal distances from one 
another at starting (Fig. 46), 
each person opposite his partner 
— one and two, three and four, 
five and six, and seven and eight, 
being partners, and following each other in this rotation. 

I have heard of twelve skating combined figures together, 
but eight is quite enough if the figure is to go smoothly, and 
even then they must have practised a great deal together, 
and be careful to come up to time. It is very necessary that 
the partners should meet at the same moment at the centre. 


Supposing a very powerful skater is skating with one who is 
not so powerful, it is his duty not to overskate his partner, 
but to skate well within his power, and always keep opposite 
his partner. Many a time have I seen a figure broken up 
because the more powerful skater would not accommodate 
himself to the weaker. 

It is a mistake to think that, because a skater is not good 
upon all the different movements, he cannot skate some 
of the combined figures. For instance, most of the first set 
only necessitate that the skater should have acquired all the 
edges, the serpentine line, and turn C to a centre. If he can 
do this let him by all means commence the combined 
figures, for it will give him interest in the art, and is also 
first-rate practice. 

Messrs. Montague S. F. and Stanley F. Monier- Williams 
have issued an illustrated work called " Combined Figure 
Skating" (published by Horace Cox, 346, Strand), containing 
no less than 130 different movements, all drawn to scale, 
and arranged most admirably in sets, the figures alternating 
with one another so that the skater does each movement on 
each foot. All figure-skaters have to thank these gentlemen 
for having so ably arranged the movements; and as soon as 
the skater begins combined figures he should study and 
learn these sets. 

Up to only a few years ago the Skating Club was the only 
club that skated combined figures, but now, I am glad to 
say. they are skated by several clubs in London and the 
provinces. I should like to see in England and Scotland 
clubs formed in every provincial town, so that wherever a 
good skater might be he might meet men who know these 
figures. They must, however, be well known before they 
can be skated with accuracy. Messrs. Monier-Williams, 
before writing their book, consulted with the first skaters in 



England: and a select committee was called to arrange a 
systematic mode of calling figures, and certain rules were 
then drawn up. These rules, which may also be found in 
" Combined Figure Skating," are as follows 

Rules for calling Figures. 

t. Every movement of a "call" shall be commenced on 
the " outside ■' edge unless " inside " be specified. 

2. Each movement shall be continued on one foot until 
the call indicates a change of foot. 

3. The word " and " in a call shall indicate change of foot. 

4. Every figure shall begin and end at the centre. 

5. The centre shall not be passed in the figure unless so 
called, except in the case of the terms "entire," "pass," and 
" meet." 

6. The term "change" indicates a change of edge by 
means of a serpentine line. 

7. The term "reverse" shall be applied only to Q's in 
which the turn precedes the change. 

8. The term " entire " signifies a cross-roll at the centre, 
either forwards or backwards as indicated by the call. 

The term " once back " means outside edge forwards, to 
inside back (by means of turn C), and a drop on to an 
outside edge back on the other foot. " Twice back " is the 
same thing repeated twice. Most figures are commenced 
on the twice back, so that pace may be gained before 
the skater attempts the difficult movements; it also takes 
him well away from the centre, and so the figure runs 
more smoothly. 

Messrs. Monier-Williams have kindly permitted me to 


reproduce their first set of calls ; but the skater should 
consult their book for further sets of figures. 

Messrs. Monier-Williams' First Set of 
Alternating Calls. 

(a) Forward three (No. 1). 
Forward three (No. 1). 

(b) Twice back — and forward (No. 2). 
Twice back— and forward (No. 2). 

(c) Twice back — and forward three (No. 3). 
Twice back — and forward three (No. 3). 

(d) Twice back, meet — and forward three (No. 4). 
Twice back — and forward — and forward entire (No. 5). 
Twice back, meet — and forward three (No. 4). 

Twice back — and forward — and forward entire (No. 5). 

(e) Twice back — and back entire — and forward three 

(No. 6). 
Forward — and forward three out — and forward (No. 7). 
Twice back — and back entire — and forward three 

(No. 6). 
Forward — and forward three out — and forward (No. 7). 

(/) Twice back — and forward change at centre (No. 8). 
Forward inside change out — and forward in (No. 9). 
Twice back — and forward change at centre (No. 8). 
Turn and inside change out — and forward in (No. 9). 

(g) Twice back—and forward — and forward inside change 
at centre (No. 10). 



Forward — and forward change out — and forward in 

(No n). 
Twice back — and forward — and forward inside change 

at centre (No. 10). 
Forward — and forward change out — and forward in 

(No. n). 

(h) Twice back — and forward Q (changing at centre 

(No. 12). 
Twice back — and forward — and forward inside Q 

(changing at centre), (No. 13). 
Twice back — and forward Q (changing at centre), 

(No. 12). 
Twice back — and forward — and forward inside Q 

(changing at centre), (No. 13). 

(/) Forward three (No. 1). 
Forward three (No. 1 ). 

Combined Figures. 

No. I. — Forward Three. 

Fig. 47. 

No. II,— Twice back and forward. 

Fig. 48. 

\1 - - 

No. HI.— Twice back and forward three. 

Fig. 49. 

No. IV.— Twice back> meet and forward three* 

Fig. 50. 

No. V»— -Twice $ac% and fonvard^ and forivard entire. 

Fig. 51. 

No. VL— Twice back and back entire, and forward three* Fig. 52. 

No. Nil.— Forward, andforivard three out, and forward in* Fig. 53. 

No. VIII. — Twice back, and forward change at centre. 

Fig- 54- 

No. IX.— Forward inside, change out, and forward in. 

Fig- 55- 

mm. • m* M+* « 

No. X. — Twice back and forward, and forward inside change at centre. 

Fig. 56. 

No. XI. — Forward, and forward change out % and forward in. Fig. 57. 

r~ « ' ■* »»••- 

No. XII. — Twice back, and forward Q, changing at centre. Fig, 58. 

No. XIII. — Twice back and forward, and forivard inside Q t changing 
at centre. Fig. 59. 




Continuous figures are figures that can be kept up continu- 
ously upon one foot, without placing the other upon the ice. 

These figures have been very little practised in England, 
and there are but few who can do them. The impetus is 
gained by the change of edge employed in the serpentine 
line, and by the swing of the unemployed leg, but the latter 
should not be used except when actually necessary. It 
is needless to say that combined continuous figures are 
very difficult, and require an immense amount of practice. 
Nearly every figure already described can be brought in and 
skated in combination in a continuous motion. 

The Eight (Fig. 60) is the first to be learnt. It may be 
skated both forwards and backwards, starting on either edges. 
It is simply a circle on each edge, which 
can be kept up as long as the skater wishes, 
the motive-power being obtained by the 
change of edge. The difficult change is 
from the inside to the outside edge, as very 
little swing of the unemployed leg can be 
given. At the moment the change of edge 
is required, swing the shoulder over the 
unemployed forwards and backwards ; keep 
the legs together, but let the knee of the un- 
employed be brought forward and back at 
the same moment as the shoulder; never let Fig ' tot ^ tinufm 
the legs stray wide apart ; and let the knee of 
the unemployed, when brought forward and back, almost 
touch the knee of the employed. In this way motive-power 
is obtained; and when the skater has once mastered the 



movement he will find innumerable combinations of figures 
at his command. I would, however, advise him to perfect 

himself upon this simple one, before 
attempting any of the more difficult 
movements. Some skaters find the 
back movement easier than the for- 
ward — that is, a combination of out- 
side back and inside back ; impetus 
in this is obtained in the same manner 
as before, by the swing of the shoulder 
and the unemployed leg. 

I give below a series of figures that 
can be skated continuously. 

Continuous Qs. In these figures 
all four edges are used, together with turns (Figs. 61, 62, 63). 

Fig. 61.— Continuous Q» 

Fig. 6e.— Continuous Q, two turns. Fig. 63.— Continuous Q, three turns. 

These three figures are very effective, and will give the 
skater much pleasure when mastered. 



Loop Eights are also good practice, and make effective 
figures (Figs. 64, 65). These can be skated both forwards 
and backwards. 

Fig. 64.— Continuous loop eight. 

Fig. 65. — Continuous double loop eight. 

Loops can also be skated both forwards and backwards 
by means of a serpentine line between the loops. 

The Cross-cut Eight is another figure that can be skated 
with great effect (Figs. 66, 67). 

Fig. 66.— Continuous cross-cut eight. Fig. 67.— Continuous double cross-cut eight. 



Outside and Inside Cross-cuts can be skated both forwards 
and backwards, and make very effective figures (Fig. 68). 

Fig. 68.— Continuous outside and inside cross-cuts. 

The Bracket Eight can be skated commencing on inside 
or outside forwards (Fig. 69). 

Fig. 69.— Continuous bracket eight. 

Another method of skating the same movement is as 
in Fig. 70. 

Fig. 70. — Continuous bracket turns. 

Turn, bracket turn, and turn, is a difficult but effective 



The skater will notice that if commenced on the outside 
edge it brings in the two inside edge bracket turns, it 
commenced on an inside forwards it brings in the two 
outside edge bracket turns. 

Rocking and Counter Rocking Turns are very difficult, but 
some beautiful figures can be skated by those skaters who 
have mastered them with ease (Figs. 71, 72) 

Fig. 71. — Outside edge counter, and inside edge rocking turns. 

Fig. 72.— Outside and inside edge rocking turns. 

The outside edge rocking turn together with the inside 
edge counter, or the outside edge counter and inside rock- 
ing turn, can be skated in this 
way continuously (Fig. 73). 

This is very difficult, but opens 
out some very interesting figures. 
In Sweden I saw some very beauti- 
ful Combinations by this Way Of Skat- Fig. 73.—Continuous rocking and 
,, . . , counter rocking turn. 

ing the rocking and counter turns, 

some of which are given in the chapter on Swedish skating. 
The counter rocking turn outside forward together with 

Fig. 74. — Continuous counter rocking turn, and Q's. 

the Q make a very beautiful figure. This can also be 
done on an inside counter forward (Fig. 74). 



Another way of skating this movement is as shown in 
Fig- 75- 

Fig* 75-— Continuous counter rocking turns, and Q's. 

Continuous rocking turns and Q's can also be skated as 
in Fig. 7 6 * 

Fig. 76. — Continuous rocking turns, and Q 9 s. 

I will give no more examples, but the skater will find 
that many combinations can be worked out and skated 
continuously by means of the serpentine line. 

( 65 ) 








The grape-vines have not been much appreciated in the 
English skating world. These figures, I 
believe, first came from Canada, where 
they are skated with care and great 
effect ; but here few skaters have taken 
the trouble to learn them, for it has 
always been thought that figures should 
be skated on one foot, and these grape- 
vines are two-footed movements. They £ 
are not very difficult if the skater will 
only take a little trouble to learn them, 
and they are very effective. The figures 
cut upon the ice are very taking; be- 
sides, the movement in skating them can 
be made very graceful, and no bad 
habits can result from practising them. 

The simplest is the single grape-vine, 
but they are all difficult to describe. 

Single Grape-vine ( Fig. 7 7 ) . Start back- 
wards with the feet wide apart, with the 
toes turned out, and both feet on the out- 
side edge ; draw the feet together with a 
backward movement, allowing the right 
to pass behind the left at a, and to 
lead while forming the curve a i. The 
right still leads at b, but when it arrives 
at c the left passes it on an inside edge 
until it arrives at d ; then a half-turn to 
the left is made, the turn at c slightly 
precedes the turn at d, and thus you will find the toes are 




Fig. 77.— Single grape- 


brought together at c i. The right, which is then on an 
inside forward, is allowed to pass in front of the left, which 
will be on an outside forward on arriving at e. The curves 
e i are formed on a forward movement, the right and left 
both changing to the inside forward. At f the right passes 
in front of the left, but when it comes to g the left passes 
in front of the right, until it arrives at h, when a half turn 
is made to the right. The turn g precedes turn h, and thus 
the heels come together at g i — the right, then on the out- 
side back, being allowed to pass the left, when turn h is 

made. The left is then on an 
outside back, and is allowed to 
follow in rear of the right ; at 
point i the feet are in the same 
position as at starting, and the 
movement is repeated. 

In this grape-vine the reader 
may notice that the loops, whether 
forwards or backwards, are skated 
with the right leading ; and in the 
back turns (or " cusps/' as they 
are often called) the toes come 
together; while in the forward 
turns the heels come together. 
These points should be borne in 

This vine can also be skated 

with the left leading, but in that 

%- case the body turns to the right 

Fi g f 7 8.-The scissors. and then to the left, instead of 

to the left and right. 
The Scissors is simply one turn of the grape-vine, but 
when you come to g, in Fig. 77, you let the feet spread 




-/ k'. 

out as far as they can upon the outside edges, and then 
draw them together as in starting, and let the right precede 
the left. This brings you back along the dotted line as in 
Fig. 78, and the same movement is per- 
formed until you come to the point where 
you started, when the feet are again allowed 
to part, and you start again over the same 
ground. This is repeated several times, 
always skating over the same ground. 

The Double Grape-vine (Fig. 79) is very * 
much the same movement as the single, 
but instead of a half-turn, you make a 
whole turn, or a complete revolution, and 
proceed in the same direction as at start- 
ing. In describing it I need not therefore 
follow every movement of the feet, as it is 
much the same as in the single vine. 

Start, as in the single grape-vine, with 
the right leading, and form loop a; then 
bring the toes together, and make a com- 
plete revolution to the left. In this revo- 
lution you will find that you cut two turns, 
b and d, on the right, and a small loop, c, 
on the left. Then let the left precede the 
right, and thus the left will be leading in 
forming the curves e, when the toes are 
brought together, and a whole revolution is 
made to the right, describing turns f and h 
on the left, and the small loop g on the 
right. Then let the right precede the left, 
and you will be in the same position as at starting, when the 
same movements are repeated. 

The skater will notice that the loops a and e are skated 


Fig. 79.— Double 



on a backward movement, but this vine can be skated 
forward, when loops A and e will be forward movements. 
Pennsylvanian Grape-vine (Fig. 80) is a curious movement, 

which it is difficult to describe, but 
the reader will be able to make it out 
from the diagram and the following 

Start with a forward movement, the 
right foot leading; then let the left 
run behind the right until the feet are 
locked together ; the body must then 
be swung round to the right, and a 
complete revolution made with the 
feet thus locked together, during which 
revolution the turns a and c are made 
with the left, and turn b and loop d 
are made with the right. The left is 
then allowed to lead with a forward 
movement when curve e is made; then 
the feet lock together with the right 
behind the left, and a revolution is 
made to the left, in which turns f and 
h are made on the right, and turn g 
and loop 1 on the left. The right then 
leads and the same thing is repeated. 

The Philadelphian Grape-vine (Fig. 
81) is a double vine, and is commenced 
with a backward movement, a com- 
plete revolution being performed in 
cutting the cusps. 

Start with a backward movement, 
the right foot leading. When the curve a is nearly formed, 
instead of completing the loop as in the single grape-vine 

Fig. 80. — Pennsylvanian 




(Fig. 77), make the turn b upon the heel of the left foot 
by throwing the toe sharply round to the left, and allow it 
to run round in front, when a complete 
revolution is made to the left, forming, 
in all, the cusps b, c, d, and e. The 
left foot is then allowed to lead, and 
curve f is formed ; but when the right A 
arrives at g a turn on the heel to the 
right is made, the toe being well thrown 
round to the right; then a complete 
revolution is made, forming the cusps 
G, h, 1, and j. The right foot is then 
allowed to lead, and the same move- 
ments are repeated. 

There are several figures that Messrs. 
Vandervell and Witham describe as 
"Nondescript Figures," such as spins, 
toe-dancing, pirouettes, etc. ; but as they 
are not of great importance, and our 
space is limited, I will refer my readers 
to their book for them, and will give 
only one more figure, called the Cana- 
dian Eight, which is performed on both 

The Canadian Eight (Fig. 82). To 
perform this commence with a sharp 
run backwards ; then place the two feet upon the ice, one 
in front of the other, and make a circle, say to the right. 
When the circle is complete, swing the body over with the 
feet in the same position, making a change of edge by 
means of the serpentine line, and form a complete circle to 
the left. Circle after circle may thus be made continuously, 
and over the same ground. Note that if you lead with the 

Fig. 81. — Philadelphian 

70 , SKATING. 

right, the right always leads, and impetus is obtained by 
the swing over of the body. The figure (which is a very 
effective one, and is worth learning) can be skated both 
forwards and backwards, with right or left leading. 

Fig. 82. — Canadian eight backwards. 


ladies' chapter. 

By Miss Z. Cheetham. 

Having been asked to write a short chapter on skating for 
ladies from a lady's point of view, and taking as I do a keen 
interest in the art of skating, especially as regards my own 
sex, I venture to offer to all ladies and young girls anxious 
to learn, a few hints which I have found helpful to some of 
my friends. 

In the first place, I think ladies as a rule mistrust their own 
physical powers. How often, when urging some girl to skate, 
have I received the reply, " Oh, my ankles are too weak ! " 
Naturally, if any one tries for the first time to stand on an 
edge a little broader than a knife — generally too, in most 
unsuitable boots, — she will find a difficulty in keeping her 
balance. She therefore concludes she is not strong enough, 
and gives it up. This is a mistake ; the more you practise, 
the stronger your ankles will become. But, first of all, have 
a good strong pair of boots with low square heels, i.e % straight 


down at the back, no curving under the foot. Have the 
uppers of strong leather, and laced, very comfortable as 
regards your toes, but very tight over the instep and round 
your ankle, — in fact, they should not meet, as after being 
worn some time they will have stretched and be too wide. 
Then have your skates permanently fastened on to them. 
And, remember, this does not necessarily mean great expense. 
I had a pair made for 12^., for a young girl, and on these she 
managed to pass the first-class test for the N.S. A. They had 
an ordinary wooden stock, and were simply screwed into the 
sole of the boot with six ordinary screws. You will find a 
great advantage in having them fastened on, as they are 
perfectly firm, and you can dispense with straps, which, 
besides being very ugly, often retard circulation and make 
the feet ache. 

As to the skates themselves, most people look only at the 
footstocks and fastenings, and think any kind of blade 
right. With boot-heels, as I have described them, the 
blade need be very little longer than the toe of the boot, but 
should extend about an inch behind the heel. A radius of 
seven feet is, I think, the best if you wish to learn both 
large figures and loops, crosscuts, etc. A good width for 
the blade is either -^ or rw °f an inch, and should not be 
interfered with from toe to heel. The depth of the blade 
should be one inch, if wooden footstocks are used. The 
edge should be a right angle or even an obtuse angle as in 
the Monier- Williams blade ; and the skate should be fixed, 
not in the middle of the boot, but nearer the inner side. 
As to the fastenings, I think that, for a lady, Mount Charles 
fastenings look less clumsy than wooden stocks, and are 
equally good to skate with. A great advantage is to have the 
skates as light as possible. The blade should be pointed 
both at the toe and heel like the Monier- Williams blade. 


When you first put on your boots do not lace them too 
tightly, but skate for some time, and then, when they begin 
to feel loose, lace up more tightly. If, especially on the 
first day you skate, you find your feet ache from the unac- 
customed strain, take off your boots for a short time, put on 
your others, and walk about, if only for ten minutes. When 
you put on your skating-boots again, you will find the aching 
sensation has gone. As to dress, the problem is, to have a 
dress wide enough not to impede your movements in making 
the bend necessary for a powerful stroke, and at the same 
time not so wide as to fly round in doing scuds, loops, etc. 
It is a difficulty, but one which a good dressmaker should 

One thing which often prevents ladies learning to skate is 
that they are so afraid of falls. Of course, it is not pleasant 
to fall, and I think that the being seen to fall is even more 
disagreeable than the fall itself. Certainly no one can 
become a really first-rate skater without occasionally coming 
down ; but one learns how to fall : and I have never known 
any one hurt, or rather injured, in any way by a fall while 
skating ; nor, though I have had my share myself, have I 
ever been unable to go on skating the same day. The 
safest way to fall is to slip down without struggling to 

It would be unnecessary for me to say much on the subject 
of early steps and edges, since full instructions, as applicable 
to one sex as the other, are given in another part of this 
book. Upon one point, however, I wish to lay special 
stress, and that is, you must bend your knee well to take 
your stroke. This is what a lady very rarely does of her 
own accord. I have noticed in hundreds of cases that girls 
take their stroke from a straight knee, thus destroying all 
chance of pace. Bend your knee well to begin with, and as 


soon as you are well on your stroke, straighten it, bringing 
up the other foot to its right place close behind the one you 
are skating on, with the toe turned out. Keep your head 
well up, your back straight, and your arms as still as pos- 
sible, but without constraint or any apparent effort to do 
so ; only the knee and ankle should at any time be perfectly 
rigid, all the other joints should be free and unrestrained. 
You will find at first, especially if you begin pluckily and 
boldly, that your arms will swing about; but as you get 
firmer and easier on your edges and turns, you must try to 
get them under control. Above all, avoid stiffness, and 
jerky movements, or such habits as crossing your arms 
behind your back, putting them in your pockets, or even 
keeping them in a muff, for, though this does not look bad, 
it must have a cramping effect on your shoulders, which 
play so important a part in figure-skating, and for which 
absolute freedom is necessary. The great secret of graceful 
skating is ease, or at least apparent ease ; this often deceives 
learners, who do not understand why they cannot do at 
once what " looks so easy." 

One hint, on learning the outside edge, I will give here, as 
I have found it very useful. You know already that the 
outside edge is a succession of half-circles on alternate feet. 
Now, suppose you wanted to go from one given point to 
another; for example, from a to b of Fig. 83. Most learners 
would start fronting b with shoulders and face. The con- 
sequence is that, on a true curve of outside on the right, 
they would find themselves at c. Stand at a, with your 
shoulders parallel to the line d, your face turned over your 
right shoulder towards b. Be careful about the position of 
the foot on beginning the stroke, i.e. turn the foot inwards, 
as in the diagram marked correct. When you come nearly 
to* the end of your half-circle, turn your shoulders slowly 



round (without moving your head, which must still face b) 
until they are fronting and parallel with e ; then put down 

^ your left foot, the toe 



turned towards the 
right, and make your 
curve on the left foot, 
remembering to turn 
your shoulders again 
before you take your 
m stroke on the right 
foot. When you can 
do these half-circles 
perfectly on both the 
inside and outside 
edges, take a ball and 
practise the whole 
circles. I think it an 
excellent thing to be- 
gin quite early to 
C skate to a centre, as it 
teaches the skater to 
control her edges from 
the beginning. You will find it difficult to make the whole 
circle at first, so help yourself with the other foot put down 
behind the "employed foot; just a touch will do, but it must 
be your aim to do without this touch as early as possible. 
Even at this stage of skating to a centre, mind you keep to 
the right side of the ball. Alas ! what collisions I have 
seen and what narrow escapes I have had, because skaters 
are not clear on this point ! It seemed to me such a matter 
of instinct to keep the right side, that, when asked which 
was the right side I was rather puzzled how to explain it. 
I believe the best rule for beginners is that the ball should 


be inside your curve when you start your stroke, as shown 
by Fig. 84. And I believe this rule applies to everything 
except brackets, which have, 
of course, the point towards 
the centre — and Mohawks. 

In learning to skate to a 
centre do not make the very 
general mistake of looking at 
your centre first thing. If 
you do so you will at once Fig. 84. 

come to it, and your circle will be small. Map out 
with your eye the line you intend to take and look along 
it, only looking at your centre when you wish to come 
back to it. For one great principle of skating is that you 
must go towards the point at which you are looking. At 
the same time you must, above all things, avoid looking at 
the ice itself; but look in the direction which you wish to 

Make your 8 as large as you can, beginning with a good 
bend, and do not have your feet far apart when you take 
your stroke, as you will by that greatly lose pace. Good 
skaters differ as to the mode of taking a stroke, with 
regard to the unemployed foot. Some get it from the flat 
of the foot, others from the toe. The latter style is 
rather given to spoil the ice, and when skating with some 
friends who do it I am often sprinkled with small ice 
showers, but I think that it is possible to get a stronger 
impetus from it, especially in skating large 3's, half- 
doubles, and doubles, both inside and outside, which have 
to be repeated many times without an extra step at the 

Do not try too much at first. I mean do not try 3^ 
until you have all your edges perfect. A 3 is a combina- 


tion of two edges by means of a turn ; so, if you try to do it 
before your edges are perfect, you are trying to do three 
hard things at once— an outside forward, a turn, and an 
inside back. But if you have your edges perfect, when you 
try a 3 you have only to overcome the difficulty of joining 
two easy things together. The best test of an edge is to 
skate a large spiral, keeping a perfect position and balance 
until the momentum fails and you come to a standstill. I 
would especially advise you not to try the forward cross- 
roll too soon, for until you are very good on the outside 
edge, you will cross your feet before getting your shoulders 
into position. And when you do learn it, take care to keep 
your unemployed foot behind, until you are just going to 
put it down for the stroke. Nothing looks worse than to 
bring it in front at once, as so many learners do. And 
remember to put down your foot in the position given in 
Fig. 83. The back cross-roll, on the contrary, you may 
try as soon as you like, as it has not the same tendency to 
produce a bad position as the forward one. A very good 
figure to practise is the serpentine line, first on both feet, 
then on one, backwards and forwards. 

As to the best way of learning a 3, so much has been 
said before that I shall content myself with reminding you 
of the very important part played by your shoulders. Sup- 
pose you are on the right outside forward, look the way you 
are going, and, before you try to turn, get your shoulders 
completely round, keeping your head as it was, and press 
slightly on the toe of your skate so as to get your turn clean. 
This matter of clean turns is very important, for ladies are 
as a rule deficient in pace, and cannot afford to lose any 
way by making turns with a scrape. The chief difficulty 
in learning a 3 is to keep the tail wide, i.e. to avoid curling 
in. This you must do by keeping back the left shoulder 


(presuming that you are on the right foot) and looking 
over it in the direction you wish to take. A back inside 3, 
which is generally looked upon as difficult, may be made 
comparatively easy by turning the whole body round before 
the turn ; here, as in the inside forward, and unlike the 
forward 3, the face must also be turned quite round 
till you look in the direction you were looking in before ; 
then get boldly on your heel, and you will make a clean 
turn. Do not turn your head too quickly, but bring it 
slowly round ; it is much prettier, and you avoid any jerky 
appearance. Of course there are times, if skating on a 
crowded pond or rink, when you must turn quickly in order 
to see that nothing is in your way. 

The branch of skating which I think pre-eminently suited 
to ladies is hand-in-hand skating. The figures are, I 
have often been told, the prettiest things on the ice. 
Certainly they do give great pleasure to spectators ; and if 
you have a thoroughly good partner with whom you have 
practised well, I do not think there is anything in skating 
more enjoyable. More than all, hand-in-hand figures are 
easy. And here I make an exception to the rule of not 
trying to get on too fast ; learn the Mercury, or 3 scud, as 
soon as you can. I have taught it to girls who had only 
the faintest idea of an outside edge, and who have learned 
it in a day, and it is a very great encouragement to a 
learner. The partners do not skate the same step; and it is, 
of course, advisable to learn both : but I consider the step 
with the back cross-roll the lady's part, as her partner 
should do the steering. If you have ever taught any one 
to waltz or polka, you will have found it a good thing to 
count one, two, three. So in this Mercury I have found 
it of great advantage. There are three steps : begin on 
the right foot outside forward and turn a 3 (that counts 



one) j drop on to the left foot back outside (two), cross the 
right foot behind (three) ; then, if you are looking over your 
left shoulder, as you should on a right outside back, you 
will be ready for the 3 on the left foot (one), drop on to 
the right back outside (two), and cross the left behind 

(three). In this figure 




the tail of the 3 is made 
very short, for which 
reason some good 
skaters say you should 
not learn it till you can 
do a 3 with a long tail ; 
but if you practise 
steadily at 3's to a centre 
as well, I do not think 
it does any harm to learn 
it, and, in fact, many 
ladies might learn to 
skate it who perhaps 
never would do a large 3. 
The other skater faces his 
partner and holds both 
hands, not crossed, and 
does " once back and 
forward " on alternate 
feet, taking care that his 
cross-roll forward, on 
which he does his 3, is done at the same time as his partner's 
cross-roll back. The steering in this figure can be brought 
to as much perfection as steering in a ball-room, and partners 
who go well together can steer in a rink crowded with all 
kinds of skaters without a collision. On a large lake, done 
with very long curves and in perfect time, it is a most 




Fig. 85. Forward 

Fig. 86. Backward 


delightful movement. I may here mention that both these 
movements are extremely pretty for a lady to do by herself, 
especially, I think, the forward one. You can get up a 
great pace, and steer where you like, in and out of groups 
standing on the ice. Some other effective though simple 
ways of travelling up and down the ice alone are " straight 
3's " on alternate feet, inside forward Q's (a very pretty figure), 
and inside forward 3's, but this you will find a little 
harder. Of course, in all these you must take care not to 
make your curves too " curly," or, instead of travelling 
across the ice, you will find yourself going round in a 

One of the prettiest double figures is the forward Mercury, 
or " once back and forward," done simultaneously by two 
people with crossed hands, and starting side by side. This 
is rather difficult, as, to enable both to do the 3 at the 
same time, one partner must get well in advance of the 
other for the 3 on the right foot, and behind for the one 
on the left. E.g. A is to the left of B ; in doing the 3 on 
the right foot A must get well in front of B (and here, if B 
stiffens his arms a little it will make it easier) ; in doing a 
3 on the left, B must get well in front of A. 

Then there is the Q scud. You do a forward Q on the 
right foot, facing your partner and joining right hands ; then 
a back cross-roll ; then repeat the Q on the right, and back 
roll. When you have just done the turn of your Q you let 
go the right hands and take the left, your partner doing 
a Q on his left foot, and crossing the right behind. 
Remember that if the Q is done on the right foot the right 
hands are joined, and vice versa. This changing of hands 
should be done quite slowly, not with an appearance of 
hurry, as if you must take hold of hands to keep your 
balance, but deliberately, as it gives a look of ease to the 



figure. Of course, after skating for some time, you should 
change to the Q on your left foot, and your partner to the 
right ; and this, if you have practised well together, should 
be done without stopping, and even without any word or 
sign, like reversing in a waltz. 

Mohawks make another very pretty double figure. The 
" Round Mohawk " is done in a circle, the larger the better, 
and consists of four strokes. For this the partners stand 
side by side, crossing hands. Suppose you and your 
partner begin on the left foot outside forward (i), at the 
same moment you drop the right foot behind the left on 

the outside back (2), continuing 
the same curve; then you bring the 
left foot in front of the right on 
the inside back (3), and do a for- 
ward inside on the right (4), when 
you repeat with left outside for- 
ward. Of course it can also be 
skated starting with your right foot 
instead of your left. This figure 
should be done with immense 
curves, at a good pace, and, above all, in perfect time, 
when it is very effective. Mohawks can also be done by 
two, three, four, or even six persons hand in hand, as a 
travelling figure in a backward direction, when the move- 
ment has only three strokes. Forward outside on the right 
(1), left outside behind (2), cross the right over in from 
on the inside back (3), and repeat on the left. 

Another pretty figure is made up of Q's and reverse Q's. 
A does a forward Q on the right, and then one on the 
left ; B does forward reverse Q's on alternate feet, taking 
care that his serpentine line, which will always be in and 
out backwards, is done at the same time as, and on the 

Fig. 87. — Round Mohawk. 


foot corresponding to, his partner's, which will be out and 
in forwards, i.e. right with right, left with left. 

The half-double scud is also pretty, although I always 
think it rather cramped. The partners face each other, 
holding hands. The gentleman does two strokes on the 
forward cross-roll, beginning on the right ; the lady two on 
the back cross-roll, beginning left : then they let go hands, 
and he does a forward half-double; she, a back half-double, 
— which, if properly done, will leave them facing each other 
as at first, when they repeat on the other foot. I do not 
advise you to learn this before you can do a good-sized 
half-double to a centre, as it is apt to make you do half- 
doubles with a good deal of spin, a fault which will have 
to be corrected afterwards. 

Another figure is as follows. The partners face each 
other holding both hands ; A skates a forward Q on the 
right, then a back Q on the left, taken up on the cross-roll ; 
B skates exactly the same figures, beginning, however, with 
the back Q. 

Last, but by no means least, there is the hand-in-hand 
rocking turn. This is one of the most delightful things to 
do on the ice, and, done at a great pace, makes one feel 
what flying would be like. You must not be afraid of the 
name " rocking turn " and think it very difficult. The 
forward rocking turn is by no means difficult, the holding 
the edge afterwards is the difficulty; but with a partner 
this difficulty entirely disappears, and I have seen this 
figure learnt very quickly by ladies who could not do much 
skating. With crossed hands you take a few long powerful 
strokes, then a very long stroke on the right outside ; B, 
who is the gentleman, and on A's left, getting well in front 
of A, who hangs back a little, not, however, so much as to 
spoil the pace. Then, at exactly the same moment, both 



do the rocking turn, and are on the back outside, B leading. 
They hold this edge for a considerable distance, then let 
go hands, and A glides (with the help of a very gentle pull) 
in front of B, when they take hands again and repeat the 
movement on the left. This passing, which, though easy, 
is very effective, was invented by a friend of mine (Mr. 
S. H. Fairrie). We had done rocking turns a great deal 
together, and found that on the back edge we could glide 
on side by side without holding hands. Then it occurred 
to us that if I passed in front of him we should solve the 
difficulty of reversing our positions ready for the left foot, 
when the gentleman, if, as is most probable, the heavier 
skater should be on the lady's right hand. We found it 
answer admirably, and we have done it with two other 
skaters, three passing the fourth, so that, if after the turn 
we were in the order A, B, C, D, we should after the passing 
be D, C, B, A. Very large Q's done hand in hand make an 
extremely delightful figure, and even double Q's can be done. 
Waltzing on skates can also be done in two ways. One, 
which for years I have done with my sister, is the ordinary 
waltz step, and we can reverse and go backwards and 
forwards. In the other, each partner does a once back 
and forward, and they can reverse quite easily simply by 
one doing a cross-roll forward, and the other backwards. 
When done quickly and gracefully it is very effective. 

One more thing as regards hand-in-hand skating I must 
mention, and that is, that some years ago Sir Charles Met- 
calfe suggested the combined figures done hand-in-hand. 
It is possible to do every turn, and even double turns, hand- 
in-hand ; and I think if we could get four ladies and four 
gentlemen who had practised them well, they would be very 
charming ; the chief thing, of course, is for the partners to 
get in front or hang back as occasion requires. 


As to combined figures, which I myself prefer to any 
other kind of skating, I shall only say a few words, as both 
in this book, and in " Figure Skating," by Messrs. Vandervell 
and Witham, a book to which I personally owe a great 
deal of my skating, and in " Combined Figure Skating," by 
Mr. Monier-Williams, much better directions are given 
than I could give. I simply recommend every lady to 
learn as much of them as she can. I know nothing more 
fascinating than a good 4 or 6 with a good caller, and 
when everybody knows the calls. The only advice I give you 
on the subject is, study the names of the figures well, and 
this you can do without ice. Long ago I used to read over 
the names of all the figures in Mr. Momer-Williams' book 
and think them out. By doing likewise you will get the 
system so well into your head that even a perfectly new 
figure will not bring you to a standstill. And how pro- 
voking it is to stop a figure which is going well because you 
are not sure what the call means ! and if it is a lady who so 
stops it, how superior our masculine friends look ! If you 
know what the call means, even- if you cannot do the figure 
the first time, you can get into your place and not stop 
the set. Therefore, I repeat, read up the names, and do 
so when you have no ice to skate on, so that when the 
ice comes you will have all your time to devote to actual 

Then there is continuous skating, by which I mean 
skating altogether on one foot. Many good skaters think 
it decidedly the highest branch of the art. It is certainly 
the most difficult, but I do not think it is ever very pretty 
for ladies. Indeed, if your time is limited, as is most prob- 
ably the case, frost being so rare and fickle, I advise you 
to work at scuds and combined figures. There is no doubt 
that they are the most elegant ; and certainly, if to appear 


a good skater is your object, you will attain it much more 
quickly by them than by continuous figures. At the same 
time, I think the practice of continuous figures vastly im- 
proves general skating. Besides, they are most fascinating, 
and if you once begin you cannot leave off ; and certainly, 
as a matter of power, it is quite possible for a lady to do 
them provided she has opportunity and great perseverance. 
Continuous Q's done slowly, and with the kick minimized, 
do not look bad. I think myself, and in this opinion 
several of the best skaters agree, that all continuous figures 
should be done slowly. I am aware that foreigners do them 
very quickly, but I think that speed must necessitate so 
much kick as to make them ugly, and certainly not suitable 
for ladies. I know that this was the case as regards some 
foreign champions whom I have several times seen. Their 
speed and agility were marvellous, but, in my opinion, too 
acrobatic to be quite gentlemanly, to say nothing of lady- 
like. Continuous loops are pretty if done with scarcely any 
kick, and the only way to do this is, if you are skating them 
on the left foot forward, for example, to put your chin almost 
on your left shoulder for the outside loop, and almost on 
your right shoulder for the inside loop, as the turn of your 
head brings you round at once. Continuous cross-cuts are, 
I think, easier, but require more kick to get the impetus. 

Continuous bracket Q's are easy, beginning on the outside, 
more difficult beginning on the inside. If you practise 
continuous figures you must not expect to make the same 
quick progress as in the other kinds of skating. The figure 
I found hardest to learn was an 8 (invented by Mr. Monier- 
Williams) with two bracket turns and two rocking turns ; 
it should be done, of course, repeatedly, and with circles 
of at least seven or eight feet in diameter. The great 
difficulty is, of course, to gain pace on every turn. But 


I do not think that in this and other continuous figures it 
is so much strength as knack which is needed, and therefore 
I think there is nothing which men can do on ice which, 
given time and opportunity, we are physically unable to do. 
At the same time, I admit that there are some figures which, 
though they do not look bad for them, are not really elegant 
or graceful for us. One figure of my own invention is my 
name, as follows : — Right out- 
side back loop, change, inside 
back loop, change, back 3, 
forward inside loop, change, 
change, forward inside rock- 
ing turn, back inside loop 
(Fig. %%). The difficulty lies 
in making the letters the lg ' 

correct size relatively, and the dot of the t] of course, is 

So far I have not referred to two-footed or Canadian 
skating. I have always been taught to look upon it as an 
inferior branch of the art, and yet some of the figures are 
very pretty, and for us very suitable, and easy to learn. 
When first learning to go backwards on both feet you will 
find one foot has a tendency to slide behind the other. If 
you will encourage this tendency, turning your head over 
the shoulder of the foot that is behind, and slowly turning it 
to the other side as you change the relative positions of your 
feet, you will find yourself doing a very pretty travelling 
movement, and, by continuing your strokes to a centre, a 
very simple but effective 8. A figure which is not generally 
considered pretty — the " spread-eagle" — may also be utilized 
as a travelling figure, and is very easy. Make a sort of 
chasse step with the left behind the right, then turn your 
toes out with the heels near together, and do half a circle, 


the left leading, when the right must chasse behind the left, 
and you repeat the spread-eagle, the right leading. 

As to loops, which I always consider under the head of 
Canadian skating, I think that, done on a forward or back- 
ward cross-roll, either single or double, they are very pretty ; 
but you must try to do them without a great swing of the 
unemployed leg, and with your feet close together. For 
this you will find it a great help to turn your head very 
much over your shoulder. I do not advise you to learn 
loops too soon. Get well up first in long curves, 3's, large 
half-doubles, and doubles, and then you may learn loops 
without fear of spoiling your form. 

In conclusion, I can only hope that anything I have said 
may encourage all young skaters of my own sex to appre- 
ciate at its true value what has been one of my greatest 
pleasures and recreations during the past few years. Skating 
is not a very expensive amusement, much less so than riding, 
for example ; less tiring, and, I think, much prettier than 
lawn-tennis ; and I am quite sure that it is decidedly bene- 
ficial from a health-giving point of view. 

Unfortunately the*Southport Glaciarium, where I learnt 
most of what I can do, has been closed. Never properly 
supported by the town, it has financially, though in no other 
respect, been a failure. I believe an effort is being made 
to resuscitate it, and, should it be re-opened, I most heartily 
recommend it to all skaters as an excellent place in which 
to learn or to practise what has already been learnt. It is 
large enough for two or three sets of combined figures at 
once ; and the surface of the ice has been brought to great 
perfection. I know many people who have come to South- 
port for periods of from a few days to three or four months 
on purpose to skate, and have invariably been well repaid 
for their trouble. 




Last winter the London Skating Club received an invitation 
from the Skating Club at Stockholm, requesting them to 
send over representatives to take part in the international 
contest that was to take place at Stockholm on the 17th 
of February. A party of four was formed to go over — not 
to take part in the contest, but to show the Swedes the 
English style of combined figure-skating. The writer was 
one of the four who were to start on the 7th of February, 
so as to have a week's practice together before the contest 
took place. Unluckily, at the last moment, one of us found 
that he could not leave England, so the party finally con- 
sisted of three only. 

On arriving at Gottenburg we were met by several of the 
members of the Gottenburg Skating Club, who invited us 
to visit their rink, which we were glad enough to do, and 
were keen to have an afternoon on the ice, as we had only 
had one day's skating in England that winter. We found 
the ice very hard, and one of us who was skating with 
Monier-Williams blades found they were useless. At 
Stockholm we were met by several members of the Stock- 
holm Skating Club, who gave us a most hearty reception. 
We were made honorary members of the King's Rink, and 
had free use of the public rink whenever we wished to skate. 

We were naturally all anxious to see the well-known 
Finland skaters, Mr. Rudolf Sungren and Mr. John Catani, 
as we had heard great accounts of their skating; and we 
were not disappointed, for they surprised us by the great 
power they possessed over their skates, in the most difficult 


movements. Some of their figures will be given later on. 
Madam Frank, a lady skater from Finland, was also wonder- 
fully good, and I have never seen a lady skate with such 
ease and so gracefully ; her toe spins were charming to wit- 
ness, and she had the good taste not to skate figures that 
were not graceful. Mr. Ivar Hult, of Stockholm, also 
astonished us with some of his elaborate figures. 

The contest took place on the 17th of February. Finns, 
Norwegians, Swedes, and one of us by request, took part in 
it ; but, as regards individual skating, we cannot come up to 
those who have three and four months' practice every year. 
It was a pretty sight. Over twenty thousand people sur- 
rounded the rink, and the Crown Prince gave away many 
handsome cups to the successful competitors. 

We gave a selection of figures in combined skating, and 
a handsome cup was presented to us for the London Skating 

Figure-skating in Stockholm is the national sport of the 
country ; every one skates ; and as they have three or four 
months' skating every year, some of them are bound to 
become first-rate skaters. But their style is very different 
from ours : the unemployed leg is never at rest, it is always 
swinging far away from the employed, and the employed 
knee is always bent ; the arms are also not kept to the side, 
but are allowed to wander wherever the skater wishes, 
and often I noticed an arm stretched out well above the 
head. Now these points in England are considered bad 
form, but the Swedes consider them quite the reverse ; and I 
believe that their great power is gained by the swing of the 
unemployed leg, and some of their figures could not be 
skated without it. Their great figures are continuous figures ; 
and it is wonderful what they can do upon the one foot, 
and also at what a pace they skate these figures. 



Now as to the skates these different skaters use. They 
mostly adopt the same footstock as we do in England, viz. 
the " Mount Charles" or skate screwed to the boot; but 
the blades are very different, and just the opposite of the 
" Dowler," — they are broad in the centre, and taper off to 
nearly a point, both at toe and heel. They are also very 
much rocked, by which I mean ground to a small radius, 

Figs. 89, 90. — Mr. Catani's skate. 

generally about five feet or less. Mr. Catani's skates were 
very high off the ice, and higher at the heel than the toe. 
Mr. Sungren's were much the same. Mr. Catani and Mr. 
Hult have kindly sent me drawings of their skates, which 
may be interesting to the reader (Figs. 89-92). The 
Norwegian skates were very heavy, very thick in the blade, 
and high off the ice. The Swedish skates were much 
the same as Mr. Catani's, with the exception of one used 
and invented by Mr. Richard Krause of Gottenburg. 



This is a very novel skate, in which you can alter the 
radius without removing the skates. As it will come out 
in England this year and, I think, will be very popular, I 
will give a description of it and diagrams (Figs. 93, 94). 
Some figures which are impossible to skate upon a flat 
skate, such as a seven-feet radius, are easy to do on a five- 
feet radius ; therefore, this skate will accommodate itself to 
all figures. 


Figs. 91, 92. — Mr. Ivar Hult's skate. 


In the Krause skate, the blade of the skate consists of 
two parts, viz. a top or ridged part, a, and a bottom cr 
sliding blade, b, which are connected at the ends by means 
of small bolts or pins, cc. 

In the diagram the sliding blade, b, is shown, for example, 
furnished with vertical projections, D and e, which pass 
through slots in the ridged part, a. The front projections, 



d, of the sliding blade is extended, so that it forms a support 
for the front or sole-plate, F. To prevent any strain between 
the sliding blade and the sole-plate, the hole through which 
the connecting pin is passed is made oblong. At about the 
middle of the ridged part, a, a screw, g, is applied, which, 
when it is screwed down, presses against the sliding blade, 
so that the latter can be curved to any required radius. 
The bottom end of the screw enters a hole in the sliding 
blade, which is there to prevent it from moving laterally. 

Figs. 93, 94.— The Krause skate. 

One and all of these skates were wider at the middle of 
the blade, and tapered off both at toe and heel, and were 
very much rocked. I fear the English skater will find him- 
self rather at sea when first he tries them, for the balance 
seems to be generally upon the centre of the blade, and the 
Swedes always turn upon the centre, not upon the toe and 
heel as we do in England. They are seldom upon the toe 
except in doing toe spins, at which they are very clever, 
and it is wonderful to see how, at great speed, they can 
jump upon the toe of the skate and revolve like tops. 


The contest consisted of six self-selected figures and free 

On pages 93-95 are drawings of the 18 figures skated by 
the best three men — Mr. Rudolf Sungren, first prize (Figs. 
95-100; Mr. Ivar Hult, second prize (Figs. 101-106) ■; and 
Mr. John Catani, third prize (Figs. 1 07-1 12). 

Mr. Hult has kindly sent me several others (Figs. 1 13-1 1 7), 
which will be new to English readers, and will give an idea 
of the capabilities of the Swedes (p. 96). 

In conclusion, I strongly advise my readers to take a trip 
to 'Sweden and witness the skating contest. It will teach 
them more than any books can do. Stockholm is a charm- 
ing place, and in February you are certain of good ice, as 
the people take great pains and go to considerable expense 
in clearing the rinks of snow and planing down the ice to 
a smooth surface. 




CS? vo 












U- * 

• i-H 





















Fie. 101. 

Fig. io2. 

Fig. 103, 

Fig. 104.' 

Fig. 105. 


Fie. 106. 

Ivar Hult, Second Prize, 



Fig. 107. 

Fig. 108. 

Fig. no. 

John Catani, Third Prize. 



Fig. 1 1 8. 

Fig. 117. 

( 97 ) 



If skating be the poetry of motion, speed-skating, or fen- 
skating as it is sometimes called, is the epic as distinguished 
from the lyric branch of the art. It is simpler, more primi- 
tive, and more direct, but it is not without its. grace and 
grandeur. To move over the surface of the ice through 
long distances with ease and rapidity, to stop and turn, not 
according to any set figure, but as necessity or sudden 
impulse dictates, constitute an art not easily acquired. It 
is rarely, if ever, acquired except by those who live in 
localities where nature furnishes long reaches of ice, unen- 
cumbered with snow, during the winter months, and who 
have availed themselves of these advantages from earliest 

This direct style of skating has been called " speed- 
skating," from its most marked excellence ; and " fen- 
skating," from the district where alone in the British Isles 
it has been much practised and brought to anything like 
perfection. " Fen," in this combination, is not used in its 
general sense, but as applied to the Fen Country, or great 
level of the fens, which is a large district, with an area of 
thirteen hundred square miles, and occupies large portions 
of the counties of Cambridge, Lincoln, Norfolk, Huntingdon, 
and Northampton. 

This district is, roughly speaking, forty miles long from 
north to south, and thirty miles wide from east to west. It 
lies at one level, which corresponds almost exactly with the 
mean level of the ocean. It receives on the west the waters 
of the Witham, the Welland, the Nene, the Ouse, and the 
Cam ; and these have to be carried across its surface to the 


estuary called the Wash, through channels artificially con- 
fined by strong and continuous embankments. The Fen 
itself has to be drained artificially. Every field in the dis- 
trict is divided from its neighbour by a ditch sufficiently 
wide to afford a Fenman a skating-track, but not too wide 
to prevent him from leaping it by the aid of a pole. These 
ditches communicate with wider arterial drains, which convey 
the water to the rivers, over whose banks it is pumped by 
wind or steam-power. Thus, in winter, the whole of that 
country is intersected by a network of highways and by- 
ways, by means of which the skater may journey almost 
whithersoever he will. Besides this, the system of drainage 
introduced by the Dutch engineer Vermuyden provides large 
reservoirs for the surplus water of the rivers in time of 
flood, which, being shallow, are easily frozen, and constitute 
splendid skating areas. In fact, the Fens, or Fen Country, 
is, on a smaller scale, the exact counterpart of the kingdom 
of the Netherlands, and — like circumstances producing like 
results — while the Dutch have become renowned as the best 
speed-skaters in Europe, the Fenmen have been known for 
generations as the fastest skaters in England. 

The author of a treatise on " How to get on in the 
World " commences with the instruction, "If possible, con- 
trive to be born north of Tweed." This advice, though 
sound, is not available, and the rest of the treatise was 
more usefully devoted to defining the qualities which make 
the North Briton eminently successful in the battle of life, 
and how to acquire them. So, if it be the ambition of any 
one to cut the record for speed in skating for any distance 
over a quarter of a mile, he would do well to be born and 
bred within the quadrilateral defined by the towns of Peter- 
borough, Lincoln, Wisbech, Cambridge. But, after all, 
there is nothing miraculous in the skating speed of Fenmen. 


Any of the inhabitants of London who have access to the 
Serpentine or the. Welsh Harp, or any of the denizens of 
any other part of the country who have access to an ice 
area of two hundred yards in length, such as flooded 
meadows, lock-bound canals and shallow lakes afford, could, 
if they wished to do so, by perseverance in the practice of the 
direct style of skating, qualify themselves for a race, or a 
winter trip through the Fen Country or Holland, as well as 
if they were native to those districts. 

Probably the reason why residents in the upland counties 
have hitherto never more than half acquired the art of 
direct skating is because the stimulus of competition and 
the allurements of travel are never presented to them, and 
the more active and ambitious turn their attention to the 
more florid style of figure-skating. On the other hand, in 
districts where the skater can travel from fifty to a hundred 
miles in the course of a short winter's day, and where speed 
in skating is constantly being put to the test by races, the 
inhabitants cannot be induced to practise any other style. 
It is a singular fact that there is scarcely a figure-skater 
worthy of the name throughout all Holland, though almost 
all of its inhabitants, men, women, and children, are pro- 
ficients in the art of direct skating. 

National and local sports are often suggested by natural 
facilities for their practice, but when once established, 
custom, imitation, and emulation perfect them, and the 
appetite for them becomes so strong that they flourish even 
where they have to be pursued under difficulties. Thus, no 
doubt, the unrivalled greensward of England suggested and 
induced the national sport of cricket; but the English, 
having once tasted its sweets, carry it with them wherever 
they go, and practise it under the most trying conditions. 
Since speed-skating is not only an art, but also a means of 


travel and an athletic sport, we may hope that a nation 
whose love of travel and competitive games is proverbial 
will in the future give it as much prominence in their 
national life as it deserves. 

The history and the literature of skating, and the part it 
has played in war and social life, the means by which its 
implements and practice have become perfected are all 
matters of great interest. Readers interested in this subject 
will find much information in " Schaatsenrijden," written by 
Mr. J. van Buttingha Wichers, the accomplished secretary 
of the Dutch Skating Association, which abounds in quota- 
tions and pictorial illustrations derived from the authors 
and artists of Holland. Mr. Hijklema, in his " Handboek 
voor ijs-sport," devotes a large space to skating in the olden 
time. Messrs. N. and A. Goodman, in their treatise on 
"Fen Skating;" and Messrs. Vandervelt and Witham, in 
their " System of Figure Skating," have each a chapter on the 
history of skating. In these works, much quaint and curious 
information has been gathered together on the rise and pro- 
gress of skating, which cannot be obtained elsewhere. 

In so short a chapter I must neglect all this, and simply 
tender such practical advice as a reader who wishes to be 
able to skate with ease and delight fifty to sixty miles a day 
over such ice as nature unaided affords, or who may have 
some ambition to distinguish himself as a fast skater in 
competitive contests will be glad to receive. 

The advice we offer is not, however, confined to the 
sterner sex. Perhaps racing on skates is not likely to be 
patronized by the women in this country as it is in Holland, 
but the rare delight of travelling over ice, through the keen, 
exhilarating, frosty air, is much appreciated by English ladies 
when once they have acquired the art. I have skated with 
a lady from Cambridge, past Ely and Littleport, to Denver 


Sluice, and returned to Ely — a distance of fifty miles, and 
over ice which was in some places covered with snow and 
presented all the difficulties which usually occur in so long 
a journey — without any assistance or undue fatigue. Two 
years ago, another English girl in the middle of a day's 
journey over the canals in Holland, skated four miles and 
a half, from Halfweg to Haarlem, in fourteen minutes. 

The first anxiety of the novice will be to obtain good 
skates. There is but little difficulty in defining what con- 
stitutes a good pair of skates for this style of skating. At 
the outset let all forms of skates which affect to be suitable 
both for figure and speed skating, and are compromises 
between " runners" and "rollers," be eschewed. They are 
most unsatisfactory. They are costly and clumsy, and 
are sure to be rejected, with well-deserved maledictions, 
as the learner gains any proficiency in either art ; yet the 
shops of London abound in these bastard commodities, 
which are held over from year to year, and are pro- 
duced by the shopman as "Whittlesea runners" of the 
most approved style. Take no notice of his assurances, 
but apply the bottom of the irons of the skates one to 
another, and hold them up to the light. They should almost, 
but not quite, touch one another throughout their whole 
length, from the heel to the curve of the prow. They 
should not, however, be quite parallel, but so slightly 
convex that a space not greater than could be occupied by 
a stout postcard should be visible between them at the 
extremity of the heels and toes. 

The following " requisites of good running skates " were 
drawn up by the author for the National Skating Associa- 
tion, and adopted by its executive committee for the direc- 
tion of manufacturers. They are here slightly amended 
according to the dictates of subsequent experience. It 



is only fair to say that many of the details were derived 
from the report of the committee of the St. Ives branch of 
the Association, which gave great attention to the subject. 

The blade of the skate (a b) should be made of iron, 
with at least T 3 ^ of an inch of hardened steel welded on to 
the lower part, and continued from the heel end to the end 
of the prow. This steel should be tempered to a light 
straw colour (scale of hardness 5*5). The sides should be 
perfectly straight, and the edges below as sharp and angular 
as possible. 

Figs. 119, 120. — a b, blade ; c, steel rivet ; d, notch ; e, heel screw ; 

F F, sole screws. 

Curve. — The bottom of the blade should be almost (but 
not quite) flat from the hind end, which should lie per- 
pendicularly below the ball of the heel of the skater, to the 
rise of the prow, which should lie about \ an inch in front 
of the wood of the skate. In this length the curve should 
be so slightly convex that when placed on a level surface 
the heel and toe ends should rise about ^ inch ; and in 
addition to this the last f inch of the heel end should be 
ground off so as to stand ^ of an inch above the level 
at the extreme end. 


The prow should rise very gradually for the first inch, 
then more abruptly. The end should never be more than 
3 inches in front of the wood (or to'e of the boot), or two 
inches from the ice. The width of the steel keel should be 
from \ to yV of an inch where it touches the ice, and it may 
slightly decrease upward to where it is set in the groove of 
the wood. In depth it should gradually decrease from | of 
an inch below the wood of the heel to \ an inch below 
the wood at the toe. A part of the iron should be 
carried upward, to be fixed in the toe of the wood, so 
that its upper edge is flush with the surface of the wood, 
leaving a notch below it through which a stout steel rivet 
(c) should run in passing from one side of the wood of the 
toe to the other. Just above the heel end should be a 
notch (d), so arranged as to be held by the broad head of 
the heel-screw (e). The end of the prow should be as 
blunt or rounded as possible. 

The heel-screw (e) should be about if inches long, so as 
to project f of an inch above the wood into which the nut 
which binds it should be let. It should be \ of an inch 
thick. The sole-screws (f f), two in number, should pass 
through from the bottom of the wood, one on each side of 
the iron, and be made of steel tempered to a deep blue or 
violet tint f^ of an inch in diameter, and project r 3 ^- above 
the surface of the wood. 

The wood should be red beech, and be about § of an inch 
thick, and extend from somewhat more than an inch behind 
the heel-screw to the end of the toe of the boot, or a little 
behind the commencement of the prow of the blade. In 
no part should it exceed 2\ inches in width, and should be 
shaped in the usual way, i.e. reduced at the toe and under 
the instep, and bevelled underneath all round. The woods 
of the skates should not be right and left, nor should they 


be hollowed out to receive the heel or ball of the foot, but 
should be perfectly flat throughout. There should be a trans- 
verse hole behind the heel-screw to receive the heel-strap, 
which passes round the ankle, and two more to receive the 
toe-strap, which is crossed and fastened in front of the 

The straps should be of the best quality, and cut from 
bridle butts (i.e. from the best and stoutest part of the 
hide). There should be an abundance of holes, not more 
than half an inch apart. The straps, when buckled over 
the front, should leave about four inches of surplus length. 

Under the directions of the St. Ives branch of the N.S.A., 
Messrs. Colquhoun and Cadman, of the Douglas Works, 
Sheffield, have made running skates which embody all these 
requisites. They are called the Standard Racing Skates. 
Another slightly modified type of skates, called the Standard 
Hockey Skates, are made by the same firm. These are 
slightly stronger and heavier, and have a little more curve 
to the keels. They were designed as being better suited to 
the game of hockey on the ice than the " racing " variety. 
The writer, however, finds the Standard Racing Skate strong 
enough for all the incidents of travel, and suited to all the 
exigencies of the glorious struggle of hockey. 

To order running skates from a well-known firm will 
save the purchaser much trouble, but if he is compelled to 
purchase on his own judgment, the " requisites " given above 
may assist him. He should, however, be warned against 
buying skates of walnut wood. This wood is extremely 
handsome, and it has been the fashion to use it for skates 
of a superior quality. A novice, wishing to be equipped 
with the best style of thing, regardless of expense, is very 
likely to be persuaded to buy walnut wood skates profusely 
inlaid with ornamental brass. The brass is not requisite, 


and adds to the weight, but this is of little consequence. 
The walnut wood, on the other hand, has the bad habit of 
splitting just at the wrong time* 

The reader may perhaps wonder that the various appliances 
of clamps and clutches have passed unnoticed, by the aid of 
which it is designed to dispense with both straps and wood 
work, and of which the Acme skate is the most popular, if 
not the most successful, example. These appliances have 
seldom been fitted to running skates, which have to do 
rougher and stronger duty than figure skates. They are 
seldom secure, and at all times, especially over rough ice, 
they make a disagreeable jar and clatter. The travelling 
and racing skater needs a greater solidarity between the 
foot and skate than can be supplied by the upper leather of 
the boot. Experience shows that there is nothing at once 
so strong, so light, so pleasant and so safe for a long ice 
expedition as the combination of steel, wood, and leather 
we have recommended. 

The best walking boots are the best skating boots ; they 
should reach above the ankle, and lace up in front. The 
sole should be wide, to relieve the feet from too great 
pressure of the straps on the foot. A free circulation through 
the toes is of great importance in the cold of winter. The 
heels should be wide and deep enough to receive the full 
height of the heel screw without its being felt by the heel 
above it. These boots, however, may be rather lighter than 
those used in walking and are better without nails or sprigs 
of any kind. The only thing necessary to convert a walking 
into a skating boot is to make a hole in the heel with a 
gimlet for the screw, and this should be made just as far 
away from the hind end of the heel as the screw is from the 
hind end of the wood of the skate and rather to the inside 
of the centre. If the skater has to walk to the ice it is well 


to fill this hole with soft bread-crumbs or tow, which are easily 
removed, so as to keep out sand and small stones. 

If the heel hole be made so large as not to take the thread 
of the screw, the latter acts as a spike only. The skate will 
not then be fixed so firmly, but the skater will suffer but little 
inconvenience from this, and the process of putting on and 
off the skates is so much easier as to compensate for it. 
Whether the buckles of the straps should be on the inside 
or outside of the foot, and how far these buckles should be 
from the mortice which dictates their position on the foot, 
when fastened, may be left to the reader. Upon these 
points the opinions of the best skaters differ. All good and 
fast skaters, however, recommend that the toe or prow of 
the skate should be placed far inside the mid-line of the 
foot, so as to pass directly below the ball of the great toe. 
When the skater has settled for himself these points, he can 
stereotype them by passing screws through the wood of the 
skate, so as to fix the strap, and a piece of brass may be let 
into the wood in front of the sole screws, turned up at the 
inside end, so as to form a perpendicular scotch, against 
which the sole of the boot may be pressed. These arrange- 
ments save time in putting on the skates, but they are 
attended with some inconveniences, and may be dispensed 

In giving these recommendations it has been borne in 
mind that the skates which a speed skater uses have to 
meet all the requirements of the adventurous expeditions in 
which he revels, and which take him over long stretches of 
ice of various quality, in traversing which he may have to 
encounter many difficulties, and be prepared for all the 
incidents of travel. These expeditions resemble the per- 
formance on a carefully swept rink about as much as an 
Alpine ascent does a minuet in a drawing-room. To racers, 


who to gain the slightest acceleration o f speed are willing to 
sacrifice convenience, some modifications may be suggested; 
nevertheless, the skates recommended are precisely those in 
which George See skated an English mile in two minutes 
fifty-three seconds at Slikkerveer, on February 17, 1887, 
which still remains the world's record for that distance. The 
recent success of Mr. A. Von Panschin and Mr. J. Donoghue, 
the Russian and American amateurs, seem to indicate that 
a long blade, which lies almost flat on the ice for eighteen 
inches, and stretches from two or three inches behind the 
heel to three or four inches in front of the toe, and is 
reduced to less than ^ of an inch in thickness, is a good 
racing type, for both these gentlemen had blades of this 
description, though in other less essential particulars widely 
different, and this type of blade is the same as that on which 
the Norwegian, Axel Paulsen, performed his speed-skating 
feats a few years ago. Such blades, however, would be dis- 
advantageous over very soft ice, or where sharp turns had 
to be made, as in the English races. 

Learning to Skate, — The professors of every art are in the 
habit of impressing on their pupils that their main difficulties 
arise from having to unlearn the bad styles into which they 
have fallen. The instructor in skating is no exception to 
this rule, even though his pupil submits to his direction from 
the first, for that pupil has already contracted bad skating 
habits simply from walking on the firm earth. At his first 
attempt the novice naturally endeavours to proceed as on 
land. His feet being parallel to each other, and to his line 
of intended motion, he presses one of them downward and 
backward and raises the other so as to stride over the ice. 
As an equally natural consequence, the one foot, finding no 
resistance, slips backwards from under him, and the other, 
instead of advancing, has to be dashed down to save him 


from falling, which is often not even then avoided. He 
soon learns, either in the dear school of experience, or by a 
little thought, that the means of progressing on the ice 
depend upon two relations of steel to ice : one is, that there 
is so little friction between them that steel passes over ice 
with hardly any resistance, and the other is that steel is 
capable of cutting or indenting ice with its sharp edge, so 
as to obtain a support and resistance, when the propelling 
power is directed more or less at right angles to the axis of 
the skate. 

To obtain forward motion, therefore, the toe of the pro- 
pelling foot has to be turned outward. The inner edge 
of the skate has to be presented to the surface of the ice, 
as it naturally will be when the centre of gravity is in front 
of the point of support, and then the muscular extension 
of the whole limb, involving hip, knee, and ankle joint, has 
to be directed outwards from the line of motion. Mean- 
while the other foot has simply to be placed in the position 
for supporting the body, and for running forwards with the 
least possible resistance, consistent with guiding the body 
rightly. When momentum is thus acquired, the skater finds 
that he can propel himself with his foot even when it is 
itself rapidly passing onward, by the sidelong thrust, and 
he will soon obtain such power of balancing and guiding 
himself on the other foot, when his stroke is delivered, that 
his strokes become long, involving no strain or exertion, 
and even giving a short interval of rest between each stroke 
without loss of speed. 

The average length of stroke of a good skater is about 
seven yards, so that in order to obtain great speed the 
stroke need not be repeated rapidly, far less often per second 
than in rapid walking or running, although the pace be twice 
as great as in walking and one and a half times as great as 




in running. On the other hand, the 
sidelong stroke must be delivered 
with great vigour. The requisite, 
therefore, of a good running skater is 
strength rather than agility. Perhaps 
something may be gained by ex- 
amining a correct copy of the stroke 
of a good skater on the ice, such 
as is here given (Fig. 121), and trac- - 
ing the varying positions the body 
assumes as it is formed. 

If a b be the line of motion, it will 
be found that a good skater going at 
his fastest pace carries his centre of 
gravity in a direct line above this, 
but well in front of both feet, which 
gives him an inclined or stooping 
posture. At the first part of the 
stroke, from c to d, the skate, in the 
case of the left leg, runs on its out- 
side edge, the centre of gravity being 
thrown over to the left in relation to 
it, though pursuing a straight course, 
while the head and arms are thrown 
so far to the left as to oscillate from 
side to side, not only of the support- 
ing foot, but also of the line of pro- 
gress. During the second part of 
the stroke, d to e, the supporting foot 
passes under the centre of gravity, 
and as it does so the outside edge is 
withdrawn from the ice and the inside 
edge applied to it. During the third part of the stroke, from 


















e to f, the inside edge cuts more and more deeply into the 
ice, and the stroke is given sideways with as much vigour 
as possible by the extension of the whole limb, commencing 
with the extension of the loin and hip-joint, which is 
immediately followed by that of the knee, and the final 
impulse is given by the ankle, the whole limb being turned 
outward, so that as the foot ceases to be the organ of 
support and becomes that of propulsion, the force is applied 
more and more directly at right angles to the keel of the 
skate. As the stroke is delivered, the body is turned 
towards the side of the striking foot. Thus, while the left 
foot is v striking the right shoulder is foremost, and vice versti. 
If the stroke is rightly delivered, the thrust will be so much 
sideways that there will be but little tendency when it leaves 
the ice for the heel to be raised backward and upward. 
If there is such a tendency it should be restrained, and the 
foot should be brought back towards the line of progress 
with its sole almost parallel to the ice, while the toe is 
rotated inwards. 

The learner experiences great difficulty in freely flinging 
himself forward from the inside edge of the propelling 
skate to the outside edge of the supporting skate, so that 
his centre of gravity is apparently without support; yet, 
unless this is acquired, no length of stroke will be 
obtained, and though some speed may be obtained by 
a short scrambling stroke, sustained speed is impossible. 
Most skaters stop short of this acquirement, and as they 
nerer run on the outside edge, their whole stroke corre- 
sponds to only the latter part of the stroke of a free skater, 
and the stroke itself is delivered with less vigour because 
the supporting foot is further removed from the striking 
foot. On the other hand, when this fearless fling is mastered, 
the resulting stroke is so pleasant that the skater is tempted 


to prolong it, and run longer on the outside edge than is 
necessary. This style of skating produces the Dutch Roll, 
in which the body inclines very much from the perpendicular 
to the right and left, and even the centre of gravity oscillates 
from side to side of the line of direction. The Dutch 
Roll is very easy and graceful. It combines in some degree 
the arts and delights of the speed and figure skater. It is 
well suited to the performance of long journeys without 
much fatigue, but pace is sacrificed for the sake of getting 
a longer period of rest in the intervals between the strokes. 
All the people of Holland, on this side the Zuyder Zee, 
adopt this method, and as a consequence, while they are 
good travellers, they have from time immemorial been out- 
paced by the people of Friesland, whose more direct style 
very nearly approximates to that which characterizes the 
fen folk. 

To acquire a good style, the child should begin early. 
A strong child may begin in his, or her, fifth year. Falls 
are inevitable, and they are best incurred at an age when 
they are least feared. When a fall is only a joke, the 
young skater soon adopts the free fling, which fears no 
fall, and progress is rapid. When a fall is no joke, the 
fear of it paralyzes all freedom of action. A helping 
hand may be useful for a day or two, and a chair is often 
made use of as a means of support, and pushed before the 
skater as he holds on to its back. The sooner these 
supports can be dispensed with the better. 

When the novice can run alone he derives so much pleasure 
from the exercise that there is no danger of his abandoning 
it. When he has learned so to balance himself that he can 
make his stroke long or short as he pleases, he will find 
that there is a certain length of stroke suited to the strength 
with which he can strike out. The greater the vigour of the 


stroke of the propelling limb the longer can the body run 
on the supporting limb without diminution of speed; but 
there is no use in dwelling on the stroke when the speed 
begins to slacken. Old William Smart had probably the 
strongest stroke of any man of the last two generations, 
and consequently the length of his stroke at racing pace 
was exceptionally long as compared with other racers. He 
once raced a man very much inferior to himself under the 
following condition. The course was marked out into 
lengths of one chain (i.e. twenty-two yards), and he under- 
took to skate the whole distance making each stroke corre- 
spond to this measure. He won his match, but he knew 
that the conditions were very much against him. If he 
might have lessened the length of his stroke by one-half or 
two-thirds, he could have done the distance in much less 

The advice so often given to young skaters to increase 
the length of their stroke as much as possible must, 
therefore, be taken cum grano salts. It is sound, in so far 
as it indicates that he must acquire such power of balancing 
his body as to run freely forward on one foot without being 
compelled to bring the other to the ice sooner than it 
suits him, and must depend for speed rather on the vigour 
of each stroke, than on a rapid repetition of strokes. The 
learner will do well to observe the action of good fen 
skaters. If permitted to do so, he should skate behind 
them, keeping stroke with them, while they are going at a 
moderate pace. Imitation is instinctive, and will do more 
than any attempt to master the theory of skating, which 
involves more complicated dynamical problems than mathe- 
matician ever solved. 

Long journeys on the ice give the best practice of all for 
enabling the skater to gain a good style. In these, while 


he is stimulated to make a good pace, he is not so hurried 
as to distress himself, and so falls into that style which is best 
suited to his powers and physical conformation. Though 
all good speed skaters conform to the general method above 
described, there is almost as much variety in their gait as 
there is in the flight of the various species of birds. 

Some attach importance to the throw of the arms. The 
arms are usually swung from side to side, so that they are 
extended to the right side, while the skater is running on 
his right foot, and are flung to the left just after the stroke 
of the right foot is fully delivered. No doubt they assist 
in balancing the body by their swing, and form a counter- 
poise to the leg whose foot has just left the ice, and so help 
the centre of gravity to pursue a straight line, though 
continually shifting in relation to the point of support. It 
is questionable, however, whether the management of the 
arms is of much importance or deserves much atten- 
tion. They are instinctively used as balancers when 
required, and their motion, being instinctive, will suit itself 
to the action of the legs, which are the only means of 

Men who take short strokes use their arms much more 
invariably than those who take long ones. Mr. Joseph 
Donoghue, the winner of the two miles' amateur champion- 
ship of the world this year, told me that he once made the 
experiment with his brother, who is about as fast as himself, 
of the one swinging his arms, and the other crossing them 
behind his back while racing, and they both concluded that 
nothing was to be gained in speed by swinging them. I 
noticed, however, in his famous races against Mr. A. Von 
Panschin, that when he wanted to make an extra effort 
he unlocked his arms, and swung them for a few strokes. 
On the other hand, it was evident that Mr. A. Von Panschin, 



with his short quick stroke, was obliged to work his arms 
from side to side with vigour. 

To turn in skating is the easiest thing possible. If the 
skater is gliding forward with both skates on the ice and 
their keels parallel to the line of motion, the slightest 
muscular effort will incline them to the right or left of that 
line, and the direction of the skater is instantly changed by 
the resistance which the skate offers to any motion other 
than along its own axis. 

The ease with which a skater going swifdy avoids obstacles 
is remarkable. The faster the pace the greater the pre- 
cision, and no one who is standing still on the ice or going 
slowly should attempt to avoid a skater going swiftly by 
him. The duty of avoiding a collision should be thrown 
entirely on the swift skater. He will pass within an inch 
or two of you with perfect safety, unless you suddenly rush 
in his way. To make a complete turn to the right about 
without losing much time, and to go round the arc of a 
circle while still striking, so as to do it in the shortest time, 
are arts which the racing skater must acquire if he is to 
distinguish himself in races as they are conducted in this 
country or on the small rinks of Canada ; but they do not 
much concern this branch of the subject. 

To stop suddenly is a matter of some difficulty to the 
beginner. I have known some skaters, especially among 
ladies, who, though good skaters in all other respects, have 
never been able to stop properly. 

The general and approved method is by a muscular effort 
to cause the body to fall, or rather lag, behind the feet, and 
then to raise the toes of the skates and allow their heels to 
dig into the ice until the friction overcomes the momentum. 
This needs some dexterity in balancing, and of course 
cannot be practised on figure skates rounded at the heels, 


Another plan is suddenly to turn half round and place the 
sides of both skates exactly at right angles to the line of 
motion, at the same time causing the body to lean over to 
the side towards which the turn is made. The effect of this 
is that the direction is not altered, and the resistance offered 
by the broad side of both skates is so great that the skater 
is pulled up from the fastest pace in a few inches, or at 
most, a few feet. Another method, mentioned here only 
to be avoided, is to turn both toes inwards so as to produce 
friction against the ice without change of direction. This 
is almost as ineffective as it is inelegant The toes have 
a tendency in this manoeuvre to run inwards against each 
other, and either they or the knees must be pressed against 
one another to counteract it. 

Having acquired the art of speed-skating, the skater has 
only to inquire in what manner he can get the most enjoy- 
ment from its exercise. The answer to this inquiry is three- 
fold, according to taste and temperament : namely by (1) 
travelling, (2) hockey-playing, and (3) racing. A few words 
on each of these will suffice. 


When bent on travel the skater should be provided with 
a gimlet and extra toe and heel straps. A* stout stick or 
bandy is also very useful. It is far better to go in the 
company of two or three others of about equal pace than 
alone, and if each of the party carries a strong light cord 
of five to ten yards long the danger of fatal accidents is 
greatly diminished if not absolutely prevented. The resist- 
ance of the air is so great that fen men prefer to go in long 
strings one behind the other, the strongest man taking the 
lead, or each of the party taking this arduous post in turn. 
A much inferior skater can keep up with his superior if he 


skates close behind him, especially if there be a head wind, 
for he skates downhill if the ice bends in the slightest 
degree, and he is also relieved from the resistance of the 
air which the leader has to encounter. The Dutch have 
further improved on the strategy of this Indian file by 
carrying a long light pole, which, being held under the arms 
of the whole company, enables those behind to assist the 
foremost by thrusting him forward against the wind. In 
Friesland almost every married couple possesses such a 
skating staff, and it is a pleasing sight to see each Darby 
and Joan thus mutually assisting one another over their 
frozen highways. 

Every traveller on skates must be prepared to " rough" 
it. He must not be discouraged by a little snow or 
roughness on the surface of the ice. To encounter these 
difficulties and to have to pick his way along frozen 
rivers or washes often adds zest to his enjoyment. 
Roughness such as would completely disconcert a figure- 
skater is but a slight impediment to a speed-skater, and 
he will in the width of a river or drain usually find some 
negotiable track. Very often, when the ice is for the most 
part encumbered with snow or roughened by slight alterna- 
tions of thaw and frost, a path may be found near the bank, 
the water having oozed up from the sides and overflowed 
the ice since the snowfall. A very slight frost consolidates 
this thin layer of water, and so gives to the skater a surface 
of fresh ice with all the security derived from the old sub- 
jacent layer. The rise or fall of the water which often 
occurs in fen drains, and causes the ice to tilt either from 
the centre to the sides like a house roof, or from shore to 
centre like a trough, does not hinder the skater, who can 
skate along a surface which is considerably inclined in the 
transverse direction. 


Hopefulness is essential to the ice tourist. Some of 
the finest days' skating I have ever known have been those 
on which I have been jeered at and thought absurd for 
supposing that there was any available ice. There 
is, however, one impediment which is most trying to the 
temper. Sometimes in windy weather, when the ice and 
land are quite free from snow, a fine dust is blown on 
to the surface of the ice. On such occasions the skater 
sees before him a fine stretch of black ice, and promises 
himself a glorious run, when without warning he finds his 
foot hanging as though he was forcing it over a blanket. 
If the skater, going at any pace, comes suddenly on such 
a surface, neither art nor dexterity can save him from a fall, 
and even when he has regained his feet and struggled on 
for a few yards on such earth- strewn ice he will prefer to 
walk rather than stumble along on such a surface. 

These adverse circumstances are, however, exceptional. 
The usual conditions of a day's trip on the ice are the sun 
shining on trees silvered with rime ; a level surface of black 
ice, which offers no impediment; keen air, which makes 
exercise delightful ; merry companions in the full flush of 
health and vigour; and Ely Cathedral or Boston Stump 
beckoning in the distance. Add to these allurements change 
of scene, a certain pride and pleasure in the exercise of an 
art which though fully acquired cannot often be indulged in, 
and it would be hard to find occasions of greater enjoyment. 

It is much to be regretted that the localities suited to 
travel on skates should in this country be so limited. Our 
rivers and running streams are seldom so frozen as to give 
continuous highways. When a frost succeeds a flood, the 
meadows which border them are excellent skating grounds ; 
but they are generally so severed and crossed by obstacles 
as to prevent a skater making his way far along a valley. 


Canals are more promising, from being generally locked 
and stagnant, but the desire to keep them open for purposes 
of navigation often induces their managers to take means 
for breaking up the ice. Our lakes are for the most part 
too deep and too much exposed to wind to freeze readily ; 
but on the rare occasions when Windermere and Derwent- 
water are covered with safe ice, travelling over their surface 
amidst such scenery must be delightful. Even in a severe 
frost there is scarcely any locality in which a run of fifty or 
sixty miles can be counted upon except the Cambridgeshire 
and Lincolnshire fens. Cambridge, Peterborough, Spald- 
ing, Wisbech, and Ely are the natural starting-points for 
a fen expedition ; but the traveller, even when in these 
towns, needs some local knowledge as to where he is likely 
to find good runs. 

When the water is high, and the rivers which traverse the 
fens have to carry a good deal of water to the sea, the 
washes, as they are called, are full and afford the best 
skating. Three of these vast and shallow reservoirs are 
worthy of mention. The most northern is called the 
Cowbit Wash, and receives the overflow of the Welland 
River. It lies between Peakirk and Spalding. Its lower 
end, near Spalding, widens and forms a splendid sheet of ice. 
Next comes the wash which receives the surplus water of 
the River Nene, and lies between Peterborough and 
Guyhirn. The most southerly is the reservoir of the River 
Ouse. It stretches twenty-one miles between Earith at its 
upper end, and Salter's Lode and Denver Sluice at its 
lower. It is more constantly flooded in winter than any 
of the others. 

In time of low water skating is first obtained on those 
great artificial drains which drain the fens without receiving 
any water from the uplands, of which the Middle Level 


Drain, which discharges its water about four miles above 
the picturesque town of Lynn, is a good example. As the 
frost strengthens the great main rivers become safe. The 
" Handbook of Fen Skating," published by Mr. J. C. 
Hankin, of St. Ives, Hunts, already referred to, contains a 
map of the fen country, prepared by Mr. Sidney Tebbutt, 
an experienced traveller on skates, to which is added an 
itinerary with exact particulars of mileage, the width of the 
watercourses, and the character of the ice which usually 
forms on them — such particulars are too elaborate to be 
given here. 

Should the skater wish to pursue his favourite pastime 
amid foreign scenes, he can do so with the greatest ease, 
and without the loss of a single hour's skating. Having 
finished his day's skating on the washes or rivers of the 
eastern counties, he can after sunset make his way to 
Harwich, and after a night voyage, in which he may sleep 
rocked in the cradle of the deep, awake in Rotterdam in 
time to renew his enjoyment in a country made expressly 
for this kind of travel. Thence he may make his way by 
Gouda to Amsterdam, and from that centre proceed in any 
direction he likes. The countries north and east of Holland 
are not well adapted to the skating traveller, though they 
have produced some excellent speed skaters. At or near 
large centres of population, such as Stockholm, Christiania, 
and St. Petersburg, long courses are kept clear by sweeping, 
and these afford good training places for fast skaters ; but 
there is seldom any means of travelling on the ice from 
place to place in Russia, Scandinavia, or Prussia, because 
of the depth and persistency of the snow. Now and then, 
as was the case last winter, there is excellent skating on the 
chain of lakes around Berlin and Potsdam, which are con- 
nected by the rivers Spree and .Havel. 


From some interesting correspondence I have had with 
Mr. C. G. Curtis, one of the editors of The Spirit of the 
Times, I learn that New York must be one of the best 
places in the world for one who delights in skating travel. 
For, while in Canada, after the snows have set in, the skater 
is confined to rinks of very limited area, the Hudson River 
has its skating surface renewed five or six times by the 
intermittent thaws which periodically melt the snow without 
destroying the ice beneath it. Mr. Curtis reckons that a 
man of leisure could obtain on an average in each winter 
sixty days of good skating on the Hudson, Hackensack, and 
Passaic rivers. Mr. Curtis's description of his runs on the 
Hudson are calculated to provoke the envy of the speed 
skaters in this country, who must be satisfied with fewer 
days and shorter distances between flat and uninteresting 

Hockey on the Ice. 

The only game on the ice for the speed skater worth 
mentioning is hockey. Curling has its merits, derived from 
the excellence of the ice, compared with a bowling green, 
but it is the game rather of frequenters of the ice than of 
skaters. I have seen cricket played on the ice with the 
most absurd results. It is a game in every way unsuited to 
the ice, for the batsman at the supreme moment needs to 
have his feet firmly planted, whereas a skater is never so 
feeble as when standing still, and never so firm and powerful 
as when at his highest speed. The game of hockey is con- 
ducted on the same general principles as football, but it is 
football etherialized. The play is more rapid and brilliant 
than in any other game. It needs a combined action of 
eye, hand, and foot, such as is needed in no other sport. 
A good hockey player threading his way through a whole 


field of opponents, and driving the ball under increasing 
difficulties towards the goal, enables one to realize Scott's 
description of the knight in the melee of a tournament better 
than any other sight. The game should be fully organized 
to be enjoyed. It should be played on a meadow, or ice 
area, secured for and devoted to the purpose. Nothing has 
prejudiced this game so much in the eyes of the public as 
attempts made to play it on a piece of ice already occupied 
by other skaters of both sexes who are bent on the quiet 
enjoyment of their several styles of skating. 

I insert the rules adopted by the National Skating Asso- 
ciation for the game as played in the fens. 

The Rules of Hockey. 

Definitions: The "Field" is the defined area within 
which the game is played. The "Goal" is the defined 
space between the goal posts. The goal of either party of 
players is that which they defend. 

Rule 1. Where space allows, the field shall be a right- 
angled parallelogram 200 yards long by 150 yards wide. 

2. The goals shall be opposite and parallel in the centre 
of the shorter sides or "goal lines," 15 feet wide, between 
two uprights, with a tape or lath across at the height of 
6 feet 6 inches. 

3. The number of players on each side shall be 15, 
including the captain. 

[The above rules, 1, 2, and 3, may be modified by agree- 
ment, as circumstances may require.] 

4. The ball used in play shall be solid, of indiarubber, and 
not less than 2 inches, or more than 2^ inches in diameter. 

5. The bandy or hockey sticks shall be of wood, not 
more than 4 feet long, and not more than 2 \ inches wide 
in any part. 


6. The first choice of goals in every match shall be deter- 
mined by lot. 

7. A goal is won by either side when the ball is passed 
through their opponent's goal under the tape. 

8. The time during which a match is to last shall be fixed 
beforehand by the captains, and the sides shall change goals 
whenever a goal is made, or at half-time when a goal has 
not been previously made. 

9. The players shall wear the colours of their side on the 
arm, and on their bandy or hockey sticks. 

10. The game shall be commenced in all cases by the 
umpire throwing the ball perpendicularly into the air from 
the centre of the field, and as it descends it is in play. 

11. (a) The ball must not be carried or thrown, and if 
caught must be at once dropped upon the ice. (b) No 
player may catch hold of, or intentionally charge or impede 
an opponent. (c) No player may throw his bandy or 
hockey stick, or use it to trip an opponent, or intimidate 
him, or strike his stick from his hand, nor may he raise his 
own stick above his shoulder to strike the ball when any 
player is within reach. 

Any player who violates any of the sections of the above 
rule may, on appeal to the umpire, be disqualified from 
playing again until a goal is won. 

12. When the ball is struck beyond the side lines the 
player who sends it beyond the boundary, or a player on his 
side, must carry it back to the place where it crossed the 
boundary and at once strike it at right angles into the field. 

13. When the ball is passed across the goal line on either 
side of the goal by one of the attacking players the ball 
shall cease to be in play, and the keeper of that goal shall 
have a free hit from any point on the goal line within six 
yards of the goal. But if the ball is passed across the goal 



line by one of the defending players an attacking player 
shall have the right to a free hit either from the corner of 
the field or from any point on the goal line not nearer to 
the goal than forty yards. The free hit shall be from the 
side of the goal on which the ball passed. 

14. Whenever a free hit is allowed, 
no opponent shall stand within twenty 
yards of the striker. 

15. No player shall place himself 
within twenty yards of his opponent's 
goal except in following up the ball. 

16. A match is won by the players 
whose side wins the greater number of 

17. In all cases of dispute an appeal 
shall be made to the umpire, whose 
decision shall be final. 

The hockey sticks must be strong and 
and of 
the shape 
in the 
made of 
ash are 
the best. 

Those ^>' 122, — Hockey stick. 

made of willow are lighter and more easily obtained, but 
they will soon wear out or break. The grain of the wood 
must curve with the curve of the bandy or it is sure to 


split, and therefore sticks of the right shape are hard to find 
in the natural state. Mr. F. H. Ayres, of in, Aldersgate 
Street, of lawn-tennis-ball reputation, now makes hockey 
sticks, giving them their right curve by artificial means. 
These are admirable in quality and at moderate ' prices. 
They were made under the direction of Mr. C. G. Tebbutt, 
who is one of the best hockey players in England. These 
weapons look formidable, but in good play they seldom if 
ever cause accidents, as the art of the play is to carry the 
ball over the ice in a succession of gentle pushes, each of 
which propels or changes the direction, but so as to^leave 
it wkhin the control of the player who follows it. It is 
only when in desperate circumstances, that is, when his 
opponents so throng him that he cannot retain the ball, 
or when he is too exhausted to play it, that he strikes with 
any force so as to pass it to a comrade or make a shot for 
the goal. 


Fond as our countrymen are of competition in athletics, 
it is only natural that races on skates, in which the pace so 
greatly exceeds running on land, should have been practised 
from time immemorial in such places as are suited to skating 
contests. For many generations past almost every village 
in the fen country has had its races. In the primitive com- 
petitions a leg of mutton w T as usually the prize. These 
village races gave rise to a wider emulation, and more 
important races with larger prizes were run, which attracted 
the celebrities of many villages to some common centre. 
Whittlesea Mere was a famous rendezvous before restless 
ownership drained it and converted a wide reed-margined 
lake into good wheat-growing land. The pride of a village 


was great when its champion became the winner in some 
great meeting, and often he was presented with a watch or a 
silver cup to commemorate the event. 

These races were run in heats over a course half a mile 
long, divided, down the middle by a row of barrels or other 
marks round which the competitor had to skate twice, 
making three right-about turns at the ends, so as to traverse 
two miles in all. There were usually sixteen competitors, 
and the first heats consisted of eight races, the winners of 
which again competed in the second heats, and so on to the 
final heat, the winner of which was the winner of the whole 
race. This system of racing is open to many objections, 
but it produced good races, the results of which were readily 
comprehended by the spectators, and the management of 
them was perfectly easy. 

Under this system the brothers Drake, of Chatteris ; Gittam 
and Young, of Nordelph ; Register, of Southery ; W. Smart 
and W. See, of Welney; distinguished themselves. These 
last two were in their prime in 1854 and subsequent 
years, and since then the little village of Welney has pro- 
duced almost all the best skaters of England. Watkinson 
had a short innings as champion, when the elder genera- 
tions of Smart and See had begun to fail, and before the 
second generation had come to man's estate, and then 
George (Fish) Smart, nephew of Turkey Smart, asserted 
his pre-eminence, from which he has been deposed by 
George See (son of W. See) and James Smart his younger 

Until the establishment of the National Skating Associa- 
tion in 1879, there was no distinction between amateurs and 
professionals, and all the celebrities mentioned were men 
belonging to the working class, or but little removed from 
it. The total cessation of agricultural labour and navigation 


during a hard frost enabled the men employed in these 
industries to distinguish themselves in the races, and they 
have held their own ever since. In cricket the Gentlemen 
sometimes beat the Players, but amateur skaters have never 
been able to live alongside the hardy agricultural labourers 
of the fen. There is no reason why this should always be 
the case. In Holland trained amateurs have been able in 
long-distance races completely to outpace the peasants of 
Friesland. Whether this will ever be the case in England 
remains to be seen. 

The chief objections raised against the old-fashioned 
method of conducting skating races were the sharp right- 
about turn at the ends of the course, which occasioned a 
waste of time and strength, the fact that it only determined 
who was the fastest skater, the position of all the rest being 
in some measure due to the chances of the draw, and the 
facilities it afforded for the competitors to arrange the races. 
These objections came out in great prominence in the 
famous international race which took place at Leeuwarden, 
in Friesland, in 1885. Mainly owing to the energy of 
Baron de Salis, of Amsterdam, a new system was introduced 
in Holland, some of whose features have been adopted by 
the National Skating Association in their championship 
contests. Thus the races are now decided in two heats. 
In the first, although the skaters run in pairs as before, the 
result is wholly determined by time. The four who do the 
first heat in the shortest time are again paired for the final 
heats, which are also determined by the stop watch. The 
course adopted in the international race in Holland is of 
the shape of a magnet, as seen in Fig. 124, and is divided 
throughout the whole length of its two straight limbs by a 
wire, but left open in the semicircle which unites them. 
The skater who takes the outside course in starting, returns 



by the inside course, and vice versL The course at the Sport 
Club rink at Amsterdam (Fig. 125) is an improvement on 
this form, the sides being parallel, and united at each end 
by a semicircle of considerable diameter, the circuit being 
nearly half a mile round. It is divided throughout except 


660 yczrds 



— a 

Fig. 123. — English championship course, twice round. 
660 X 4 = 2640 yards = i£ miles. 

Fig. 124. — Dutch international course. 
726 X 2 + 157 = 1609 metres = i English mile. 

2SO n^eireS 

Fig. 125.— Course of the Sport Club Rink, Amsterdam, s, starting-point. 
Rather less than £ mile in circuit. 

at a part where the competitors are required to cross at 
the half distance of the race. These improvements of the 
course have not yet been adopted by the National Skating 
Association in their races. As this association has no 
permanent racing-ground, these more complicated arrange- 
ments are difficult to carry out. 


The amateur champions of England since the establish- 
ment of that championship have been : 

Mr. F. Norman, of Willingham, from 1879-1887. 

Mr. R. Wallis, of Thorney, „ 1887-1888. 

Mr. W. Loveday, of Welney, „ 1888-1889. 
In comparing the best times made by these amateurs with 
those of the professionals, it will be seen that the latter hold 
a marked pre-eminence. Thus, on the same day, over the 
same ice (Jan. 7, 1887), Mr. F. Norman beat Mr. L. Teb- 
butt in the fastest heat of the \\ miles amateur race in 
5 min. 44^ sees. ; and G. Smart beat his brother Jarman 
in the professional race in 5 min. 2 of sees, Again, in 
January, 1889, James Smart, in his first heat in the champion- 
ship race, did the ij miles in 4 min. 56^ sees.; and Mr. 
W. Loveday won the amateur championship over the same 
course in 5 min. 15! sees. The difference of 24 seconds 
in the first case, and of 19 in the other, is considerable, 
not to say excessive, and represents a distance of from 200 
to 150 yards. 

The pace of skaters at various distances has always been 
an interesting subject, and much debated. The old tra- 
ditional records, as in almost all such cases, are entirely 
mythical. Thus the Frieslanders claimed to have skated 
their short straight-away races of 160 metres (175 yards) in 
11 seconds; and the fenmen had a conviction that their 
best man could do a mile in two minutes. It is now 
proved, beyond a doubt, that these estimates are absurdly 
exaggerated. The following table of some of the most 
remarkable events which have occurred in recent years, and 
in which, so far as one can judge, time and distance were 
accurately measured, will enable the reader to judge for 
himself: — 



For the Distance of One Mile — Professionals. 


G. See 

James Smart .. 
B. Kingma 
MacCormick ., 



A. Van den Berg S. Holland 
A. Paulsen ... Christiania 

H. Hagen ... Christiania 


















St. John's 




Feb. 17, '87 
Feb. 17, '87 
Feb. 17, '87 
April 5, '87 

Feb. 17, '87 
Jan. 23, '86 

Jan. 17, '87 

Nature of 
course, etc. 


A. Von Panschin 
Jo F. Donoghue 
E. Godayer 

J. E. Olsen ... 

L. Jurrjens 

L. Tebbutt 'f.'. 

St. Petersburg 

2 582 



3 05 
3 3i 


3 5i 


3 l\ 


3 i2f 




Jan. 9, '89 
Jan. 9, '89 
Feb. 24, '89 

Feb. 24, '89 

Jan. 9, '89 
Jan. 9, '89 

Twice round an 

Twice round an 

Twice round an 

14 laps to one 

mile, first mile 

of 5-mile race. 
As above. 
Triangle ; about 

2ilaps to mile. 
Triangle ; about 

2i laps to mile. 

Twice round an 

Twice round an 

Irregular, about 

2 laps to a mile, 

flying start. 
Irregular, about 

2 laps to a mile, 

flying start. 
Twice round an 

Twice round an 


Mr. E. Godayer is accredited with skating ten English 
miles round the Stockholm course in 33 min. 2\\ sec. 
This is far- away the shortest time on record. The per- 
formances of the professionals, Axel Paulsen, Harold 
Hagen, and James Smart coming next, but far behind, this 
extraordinary feat. The times in which other distances 
have been done might be given in which the order of merit 
of the various skaters would in some cases be transposed, 
but those quoted are rather for the purpose of enabling the 



reader to form a general idea of the speed of fast skaters, 
than to show their relative speed. The fact is, that in any 
skating race, so much depends on the condition of the ice 
and the influence of the wind, that records are very un- 
reliable as means of comparison. This makes the actual 
racing the more interesting as the relative merit of the 
competitors cannot be discounted. England, the United 
States, Canada, Norway, Russia, and Holland, all possess, 
at the present time, speed skaters of remarkable powers ; 
but it still remains to be demonstrated by actual competition 
which of these is the fastest, so that a treatise on speed- 
skating is necessarily bare and devoid of those interesting 
details and adventures which enliven the sport in actual 
practice, but I trust it may enable the reader to realize these 
for himself. 

N. G, 


The following are the tests to be skated by the members of 
the National Skating Association (Hon. Sec, Mr. Newton 
Digby, 25, Emery Street, Cambridge) before they can hold 
first, second, or third class badges. 


To skate a large ordinary 3 or 3C on each foot, the Ordinary 
and cross outsides backwards and forwards, and the forward 
outside figure 8. 


In Skating for the Second-Class Test, the Judges must require 
all turns to be cut clean without scrape, and all movements to 
be executed in a good attitude. They are to estimate distances 
on the curve, and not on the chord of any arc. 

(a) Alternate 3A, repeated three times on each foot, returning 
to a centre ; the length of the curve before the turn being a 
minimum of 6 feet. 

(b) Alternate 3C, in like manner. 

(c) Two turns A, B, C, D, respectively, dwelling on each 
edge before and after each turn a minimum distance of 6 feet, 
and on the right and left foot. A and C being taken to a centre, 
with a minimum distance of 6 feet between the turns. 

{d) Alternate three turns A, C, to a centre with a minimum 
distance of 6 feet between the turns. 

0) Alternate two turns C, on each foot on the cross outside 
forwards, at a minimum distance of 6 feet between turns. 

(/) Alternate two turns D, on each foot on the cross outside 
backwards, at a minimum distance of 6 feet between turns. 



{£) The four Q figures A, B, C, D, at a minimum distance of 
9 feet for i st edge, 9 feet 2nd edge, and 9 feet after turn. 

(Ji) Forward three. Once back and forward. Once back 
and forward three. Once back meet, and forward three. Once 
back and back entire and forward. 

Must be skated with another skater. 


To Score 100 points from Section A, and to skate the whole 
of Section B. 

Section A. 

One-footed Figures. 







may be 

scored by 

each foot. 

Loop A, longest diameter 
of loop a mini- 
mum of 1 foot 
„ B 

„ c 


A double 



n D 
Cross-cut A, base, a mini- 
mum of 1 ft. 

A double 
Four cross-cuts, " Maltese 
Cross," on any base, a 
minimum of 1 foot 
Turn A, cross cut and loop 
















may be 

scored by 

each foot. 

Loop A and C connected 
by serpentine line 
„ B and D „ 

Reverse Q A 

QB ... 

QC ... 


Q A, double 








(In all the 







v - ••• 3 

••• 3 

... 4 

above O's 12 at 
least must be travelled on 
each edge). 
Continuous Q,6 in number, 
each edge a minimum 
of 6 feet ... ... ... 5 

Continuous 8 forwards, 6 
in number, diameter 
each circle of the 8 a 
minimum of 5 feet ... 4 
Continuous 8 backwards, 6 
in number, 5 feet in 
diameter as above ... 4 
Continuous 8 forwards, with 
insertion of loop or turn 5 









may be 

scored by 

scored by 

each foot. 

each foot. 

Continuous 8 backwards, 

Mohawk C, 12 feet 

as a 

with insertion of loop or 

minimum before 




after each change 

... 4 

Bracket turn A, 6 feet as 

Counter Rocking turn A, 

a minimum before and 

9 feet changes 

as a 

after turn 



... 6 

Bracket turn B „ 



... 6 

Bracket turn C „ 


C ... 

... 6 

Bracket turn D „ 


D ... 

... 6 

Bracket 8 „ 


Rocking turn A ... 

... 6 

Continuous bracket 8, 6 in 


... 6 

number, diameter each 


... 6 

circle a minimum of 5 


... 6 

feet ... 


Two-footed Figures. 

Spread eagle, inside, 

feet at least 

Spread eagle, straight line, 

6o feet at least ... 
Spread eagle, outside, 6o 

feet at least 
Toe steps, each variety, 6o 

feet at least 

(Not more than six va- 
rieties of toe steps 
will be accepted). 
Single grape vine, right 

foot leading 
Single grape vine, left foot 

leading ... 




Double grape vine, for- 

Double grape vine, back- 

Pennsylvanian grape vine 3 

Pennsylvanian grape vine, 

Philadelphia grape vine, 

Philadelphia grape vine, 

Canadian 8, z>., one foot 
in advance of the other, 

Canadian 8, backwards .. 



United Figures. 

Q Scud 

Half-Double Scud 

Three Scud 


Section B. 

Combined Figures. 

Good form is indispensable in the following figures, and the 
judges will be at liberty to require them to be done in any 
order : they must be skated with another person ;-— 

Large Single Turns at Circumference* 

I. — Twice back — and forward Three — and forward Large inside 
Three ; alternate with Forward inside Three. 

2* — Twice back — and back Large inside Three. 

3. — Twice back — and forward Large Three. 

4* — Twice back, back Large Three ; alternate with forward 
inside Three. 

Change of edge at Centre by means of Turn. 

5. — Twice back — and forward Three — and forward inside Re- 
verse Q (turning at centre)— and inside forward. 

6. — Twice back — and back inside Reverse Q (turning at centre) 
— and forward ; alternate with forward Three. 

7. — Twice back — -and forward Reverse Q (turning at centre) — 
and forward ; alternate with forward Three. 

8. — Twice back— back Reverse Q (turning at centre)—and 
inside forward. 

Change of edge at Centre by means of Serpentine line. 

9. — -Twice back— and forward Three — and forward inside Q 
(changing at centre) ; alternate with forward Three. 

10. — Twice back — and back inside Q (changing at centre). 

11. — Twice back — and forward change at centre. 

12. — Twice back, back Q (changing at centre); alternate with 
half a forward Eight. 

Double Turns. 

13. — Twice back — and forward Three turns— and back — and 
back entire, back two turns — and forward two turns ; 
alternate with forward two turns. 



14— Twice back— and forward two turns, pass. 
I5 . —Twice back, back two turns, pass; alternate with half a 
forward Eight. 

Back Eight. 
5, — Twice back — and back Entire — and back Eight. 


Gentlemen wishing to become members of the Skating Club 
must be proposed and seconded by two members of the club, 
and personally known to one of them. Also, no gentleman 
shall be eligible as a member unless he be able to skate the 
forward and backward cross-roll, and a large 3 (turn C) on each 
foot, to the satisfaction of the committee. 




Small 8vo, cloth, price is, each, 

WHIST, By Dr. William Pole, F.R.S., author of " The 
Philosophy of Whist," etc. 

SOLO WHIST, By Robert F. Green, editor of 

BILLIARDS, The Art of Practical Billiards for 
Amateurs ; with chapters on Pool, Pyramids, and 
Snooker. By Major- General A. W. Dray son, 
F.R.A.S., author of "Practical Whist." Approved 
by W. J. Peall. With numerous Illustrations. 

CHESS, By Robert F. Green, editor of the "British 
Chess Magazine." With Illustrations, 

Laws. With Illustrations, 

"Berkeley." With Illustrations, 

DOMINOES and S0LI1A1RE, With Illustrations, 
By " Berkeley." 

REV E RSI and GO BANG, With Illustrations, By 
^ " Berkeley." 

BEZIQUE and CRIB B AGE, With Illustrations, 
By "Berkeley." 

EC ARTE and EUCHRE, By " Berkeley." 

PIQUET and RUBICON PIQUET, By " Berkeley." 

SKAT, By Louis Vidal Diehl. 

ROUND GAMES, including Poker, Loo, Vingt-un, 
Napoleon, Newmarket, Pope loan, Speculation, 
Spin, Commerce, Snip-Snap-Snorum, etc., etc. By 

CARD TRICKS, Preparing. 



Edited by ERNEST BELL, M.A., trin. coll. camb, 
In 8 vols., scarlet cloth. Illustrated \ 3JV 6a 7 . each. 


CRICKET. By the Hon. and Rev. E. Lyttelton, Cam. Ui iv. 
Eleven, 1875-8, Headmaster of Haileybury College. With 9 

LAWN TENNIS. By H. W. W. Wilberforce, Barrister-at-Law, 
Secretary All England L.T.C., Four-handed Champion (with 
Hon. P. B. Lyon), 1887 ; with a Chapter for Ladies by Mrs. 
Hillyard (Miss Bingley), Lady Champion, 1889. 

TENNIS. By Tulian Marshall, author of "The Annals of 
Tennis." With Plans. 

RACKETS. By Major James Spens and Julian Marshall. 
With 4 Illustrations. 

FIVES. By Rev. J. A. Arnan Tait, of Charterhouse School. 
GOLF. By W. T. Linskill, Hon. Sec. and late Captain of the 
Cambridge University Golf Club. With 5 Illustrations. 

HOCKEY. By Frank S. Creswell, Hon. Sec. to the Hockey 


ROWING AND SCULLING. By W. B. Wqodgate, Barrister-at- 
Law, Oxford University Eight, and Winner of the Diamond and 
Wingfield Sculls. With 8 Illustrations. 

SAILING. By E. F. Knight, Barrister-at-Law, Author of "The 
Cruise of the Falcon," " The Falcon on the Baltic." With 54 

SWIMMING. By Martin Cobbett and John Racster Cobbett. 
With 60 Illustrations. 


BOXING. By R. G. Allanson-Winn, Inns of Court School of 
Arms, Winner of the Middle Weights, Cambridge, 1876-7; Heavy 
Weights, 1877-8. With Prefatory Note by Bat Mullins. With 
31 Illustrations. 

WRESTLING. By Walter Armstrong ("Cross-buttocker"), 
late Hon. Sec. Cumberland and Westmoreland Wrestling Society 
in London. With 26 llustrations. 

FENCING. By H. A. Colmore Dunn, Barrister-at-Law, Inns of 
Court School of Arms, Winner of the Medal at the German 
Gymnasium. With 17 Illustrations. 

Allanson-Winn and C. Phillipps-Wolley, Inns of Court 
School of Arms. With numerous Illustrations. 


FOOTBALL— RUGBY Game. By Harry Vassall, Treasurer of 
ihe Rugby Football Union, late Captain of the Oxford University 
Football Club. 

tary to the Football Association, and the Surrey Cricket Club ; 
Editor of the " Football Annual." 

BASEBALL. By Newton Crane, President National Baseball 
League of Great Britain. Illustrated. 

By C. C. Mott and J. M. Walker, Assistant Master, Bedford 
Grammar School. 


ATHLETICS. By H. H. Griffin, President of the Ranelagh 
Harriers. Illustrated. 

CYCLING. By H. Hewitt Griffin, London Athletic Club, 
N.C.U., C.T.C. ; author of "Bicycles and Tricycles of the Year." 
With a Chapter for Ladies by Miss L. C. Davidson. With 
45 Illustrations. 

SKATING. By Douglas Adams, London Skating Club. With 
a Chapter for Ladies by Miss L. Cheetham, and a Chapter 
on Speed Skating by a Fen Skater. With 125 Illustrations. 


RIDING.— A Guide to Practical Horsemanship. By W. A. Kerr, 
V.C., formerly Second in Command of the 2nd Regiment Southern 
Maharatta Horse. With Illustrations. 

RIDING FOR LADIES. By W. A. Kerr, V. C. With Illustrations. 

VOLUME VII. [Preparing 

DRIVING. By W. A. Kerr, V.C„ with a Chapter on Stage- 
Coaching by C. A. Hartley, of Llandudno. With Illustrations. 

VOLUME VIII. [Preparing. 

GYMNASTICS. By A. F. Jenkin, Inns of Court School of Arms, 
Winner of the German Gymnastic Society's Challenge Cup, 
1887-8-9. With 19 Illustrations. 


The different Sections of the above may be had in 21 separate Volumes; 
price One Shilling each, with exceptions.